Studies show that many people’s intolerance of grass and pollen increases with age, so I’m sure I’m not alone in realizing that what is usually a smooth transition from winter to spring has been anything but in recent years. The sinus headaches, constant sneezing, and itchy throat that come along with the blooming trees and flowers are beyond “not cute” — they can seriously limit our ability to smoothly get through the day.

To make matters worse, experts say that this year’s unseasonably warm winter is to blame for an early spring and the allergies that come with them (they also say that there will be up to twice as many insects around this year because it’s been so warm, but let’s not think about that right now — I’m severely allergic to mosquitoes and am already shook). Pollen counts have already hit record levels in many cities, with Atlanta’s count breaking the previous record by over 50%. So what’s a girl to do?

The first line of defense is to see an allergist and figure out what you should avoid. I’m allergic to certain preservatives, grass, a list of flowering shrubs, nickel, passionfruit, and the aforementioned mosquito vemon, so knowing the (very long) list of things that make me itchy and sneezy helps me avoid them.

Next, close your windows and get an air filter. Fresh air is great, but these things work wonders when it comes to keeping the air clean, keep the room from being stuffy, and many people (myself included) notice the difference in allergy symptoms right away.

One tip that people often discount but has worked wonders for me is eating local honey. I’m not 100% clear on how it works, but I started doing it after an earthy-crunchy friend of mine suggested it and have never stopped. Just a little bit of the stuff can go a long way in helping your body get along with your surroundings.

Lastly, and what many people put first, are the over-the-counter and prescription antihistamines — Claritin, Zyrtec, etc. Although conventional medical wisdom touts drugs as the easiest route, I have to mention them with my own disclaimer: they work very well, but eventually stop working. After spring upon spring of popping Claritin like it was the holy grail, I now get the same healing effect from putting a cool, damp towel over my eyes.

Do you suffer from allergies? How do you combat them? Help a sister out by sharing your tips in the comments!

Read more tips at US News.

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  • omfg

    i will recommend a natural alternative to claritin, etc.

    take nettle capsules. i have allergies and a few weeks ago they started acting up – sinus tension, runny/itchy nose, etc.

    i googled natural remedies for allergies and came upon this. i took two 500 mg capsules for a few days and haven’t had many problems since. in fact, i’ve got no problems.

    you can also take nettle in tincture form.

    nettle is anti-inflammatory. histamines cause inflammation i believe.

    give it a try. just do a google search for drug interactions in case you’re on prescription drugs.

  • mamareese

    Ugh thank you!!!! I’m about to have to put on my nerd glasses and yank out my contacts from all thing pollen!!!!

  • Freebee33

    I have never had allergies, but now all of a sudden I do smh just horrible..

  • shecanhoop87

    I would recommend an all natural supplement…it works great with no side effects and is also very reasonably priced compared to the other stuff on the market…it clears my allergy problems right up. its called clearguard, can be found on my friends website. http://www.tsbinc.org...

  • Hushpuppies

    YES! I second the nettle. As far as food allergies, there are pills you can take to ease wheat sensitivities, but unfortunately for me, none to ease soy intolerance that I know of…