The flowers are blooming and beach days are starting. Spring in the Lowcountry is splendid, for sure. However, if you’re one of the 60 million Americans who suffer from allergic rhinitis, or hay fever, your cheery outlook may be muffled thanks to itchy, watery eyes, relentless sneezing and a seriously stuffy nose. While over-the-counter antihistamines like Benadryl and Allegra can relieve symptoms of seasonal allergies, these non-medicinal remedies may help, as well.
● Get moving. Exercise increases blood flow throughout the body—including to vessels within your sinuses—which can help clear congestion. Be sure to mind your environment though; if you’re allergic to pollen, opt for indoor exercise when pollen count is high.
● Eat omega-3 fatty acids. These essential fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties that some research shows may help lessen symptoms of asthma and hay fever. Fatty fish like salmon and mackerel, flax seeds and walnuts are packed with the nutrient.
● Consider acupuncture. In 2018, German researchers studied 414 adults suffering from seasonal allergic rhinitis. Participants were sorted into three groups: one that received acupuncture, another that received faux acupuncture and a third given antihistamines only. Over the course of the eight-week clinical trial, only 60 percent of those who received acupuncture took antihistamines, compared to 71 percent of the sham acupuncture group and 82 percent of the participants offered medicine only.