Beautiful black woman sneezing in a lavender field

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The CDC reports that as many as 60 million people suffer from allergic rhinitis, which is the medical term for a group of symptoms that occur when someone breathes in something to which they are allergic. Pollen is the most common offender, with over $3 billion pollen-associated medical costs occurring yearly. Pet dander, mold, dust and cockroaches are other allergens that can cause symptoms to act up. The National Library of Health reports that Black individuals suffer from environmental allergies at a significantly higher rate (over 10 percent) than white individuals.

Spring is notorious for triggering those allergies. The months of February through May see some of the highest pollen counts and can be anxiety-inducing days for those with allergies. Anyone who suffers from bad allergies knows how debilitating they are. The symptoms can feel like those of a cold or flu that never goes away and make it difficult to carry out everyday life. If you know this pain, you need to know about these natural ways to combat spring allergies.


Stay Hydrated

Woman Fills Glass With Water From Kitchen Sink

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It’s a good idea to up your hydration efforts during the warmer months for many reasons, but one surprising one is your allergies. When you’re dehydrated, your body produces more histamines. Histamines are chemical messengers involved in many processes, including the immune system. They’re also responsible for many allergy symptoms. That’s why you take antihistamines when allergies are acting up. Making sure to take in plenty of water is like getting nature’s antihistamine.


Remove Your Clothes (At Home)

Dirty women's things lie casually on a brown wicker basket

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Even if your home is an allergen-free environment, the world isn’t. And if you are out and about during the day, your clothes and body collect allergens. Between pollen, dust and other particles, a lot lands on you that doesn’t meet the eye. Remove your clothes as soon as you get inside during high pollen season. Clean those with a hypoallergenic detergent. While you’re at it, take a shower right away before sitting on the furniture and spreading allergens around your home.


Bathe Pet’s Often

Small dog looking happy while his owner pampers him with a relaxing bath in the dishwasher.

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Your dog is good for you in many ways. He’s good for your emotional wellbeing and even your physical health because he gets you out for walks. However, he’s not a friend to your allergies. Dogs play outside, rolling around in the grass and collecting all sorts of allergens on their fur. Bathe your dog frequently during the high-pollen season. You can also find hypoallergenic pet wipes to wipe your dog off when he comes inside if you’d like to ease up on the baths.


Get A HEPA filter

Coway Air Purifier

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HEPA stands for High-Efficiency Particulate Air and HEPA filters remove 99 percent of airborne allergies. Even a small one goes a long way in your home, but it can’t hurt to add a few throughout your home. These can help suck away allergens that make their way inside. On that note, while it doesn’t always sound appealing, consider keeping windows closed during high pollen season to keep allergens out.


Cover Up

Portrait of happy carefree Afro-Caribbean woman on wearing straw sunhat on vacation in tropical paradise

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Your eyes, nose, mouth and hair (yes, hair) are entryways for allergens. That’s why it’s a good idea to wear large, wrap-around sunglasses and a hat if you go outside during allergy season. This at least keeps allergens out of the most vulnerable parts of your body. It might even be an argument for continuing to wear a mask, post COVID-19 pandemic, outside.


Plan Around The Pollen

Portrait of a Female Athlete Enjoying a Run at Sunset

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If you’d like to do something outdoors, check the pollen count and plan accordingly. has a handy allergy tracker that lets you type in your zip code and find information like when different types of pollen, including grass, tree and ragweed, will be high in your area.


Eat Certain Veggies

High Angle View Of Food In Bowl

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Your diet can harm or help allergy symptoms. If you needed one more reason to add veggies to your diet, consider this: vegetables high in a bioflavonoid called Quercetin are known to reduce histamine production, says the National Library of Medicine. These include leeks, cauliflower, broccoli and leafy greens as well as spring onions.

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