The runny noses, sneezing and foggy-headedness of allergy season seem to start sooner and sooner each year. And that could mean a longer period of misery for those sensitive to pollen.
Warmer winters, triggered by climate change, are a major contributor to intense allergy seasons, since milder temperatures could lead to longer growing seasons for plants, which just provides more time for them to send their pollen into the air.
In a Harvard Health Letter, Dr. Stacey Gray, an allergy expert at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary says an earlier allergy season means people have to be more proactive about their symptoms. “One of the things to be cognizant about is what you are allergic to. People with spring allergies are typically allergic to the pollen on trees, so making sure to close doors and windows at homes and in the car is important,” says Gray. “Anyone who has seen all the pollen on your car during the spring knows that if you are breathing that in, you are going to be symptomatic.”
Antihistamines, nasal sprays, or decongestants can help to relieve symptoms, but if you’re looking for other ways to keep the sniffles at bay this season, here are a few alternatives to the standard medications.