It's ANOTHER high pollen count for BR today, and with no chance of rain to wash some of it out, the situation will get worse before it gets better. You could take the over-the-counter meds, OR you could go natural!
1. Shut Out Breezes
It’s a gorgeous day. But if the pollen count is high, keep the windows and doors closed to protect your indoor air. You can also install a HEPA filter on your air-conditioning system and a flat or panel filter on your furnace.
2. Consider Alternative Treatments
Butterbur is one of the most promising and well-researched. Some studies suggest that a butterbur extract called Ze 339 may work as well as antihistamine medicines. Other studies show that plant-based Phleum pratense and pycnogenol may be helpful, too.
3. Wash Up
Each time you walk into your home, you bring small pieces of the outside world with you. After being outdoors, your clothes, shoes, hair, and skin are covered with tiny particles from everywhere you’ve been. Take a shower and change your clothes to wash away any allergens. Leave your shoes at the door, too.
4. Wear a Mask
It'll keep allergens from getting into your airways when you can’t avoid certain allergy triggers, like when you work in your yard or vacuum. An N95 respirator mask, available at most drugstores and medical supply stores, will block 95% of small particles, such as pollen and other allergens.
5. Eat Healthy
In one study, children who ate lots of fresh vegetables, fruits, and nuts -- particularly grapes, apples, oranges, and tomatoes -- had fewer allergy symptoms. Researchers are still trying to figure out the link. But there’s no doubt that a healthy diet is good for your whole body. Add at least one fresh fruit and veggie to every meal.
6. Rinse It Out
A nasal rinse cleans mucus from your nose and can ease allergy symptoms there. It also can whisk away bacteria, thin mucus, and cut down on postnasal drip. Buy a rinse kit or make one using a neti pot or a nasal bulb. Mix 1/2 teaspoon salt with a pinch of baking soda in 8 ounces of warm distilled or sterilized water. Lean over a sink and gently flush one nostril at a time.
(Photo: Getty Images)