8 Ways to Get Rid of Seasonal Allergies

Lifestyle changes and medicine can help you feel better during allergy season.

If you’re one of the millions of people who suffer from sneezing, watery eyes, and a runny nose at certain times of the year, you’ve probably spent lots of time trying to figure out how to get rid of seasonal allergies.

Seasonal allergies are closely associated with the spring when pollen counts are high. But you might find yourself searching for allergy relief during the summer and fall, too, when different allergens blow through the air. They’re less likely to happen in winter. 

Luckily, there are ways to control your symptoms and get rid of seasonal allergies. This article covers eight ways that you can significantly reduce your symptoms.

Woman sneezing

JGI/Tom Grill / Getty Images

Symptoms

Seasonal allergies, also known as hay fever or allergic rhinitis, happen when your body overreacts to environmental stimuli. Many of these stimuli are present seasonally, like tree pollen in the spring. You experience seasonal allergies when there’s lots of the allergen around, and symptoms disappear when the allergen is no longer in the environment. 

The symptoms of seasonal allergies are:

Preventing and Treating Seasonal Allergies

All of those symptoms can leave you feeling miserable and wondering how to get rid of seasonal allergies. Luckily, there are steps you can take to make your seasonal allergies less severe and put an end to symptoms.

Avoid Your Triggers 

The most important thing you can do to stop seasonal allergies is limit your exposure to triggers. This is easier said than done, especially at times when tree pollen or ragweed is pervasive in your outdoor environment. It may mean spending less time outdoors during the peak season for your allergies, wearing a mask and sunglasses, and taking a shower after being outside to remove pollen or other allergens from the surface of your skin. The less contact you have with your triggers, the less likely you are to experience symptoms. 

Keep Windows Shut 

During peak allergy season, keep your doors and windows shut. This will help limit the number of allergens that enter your house. If you’re craving fresh air, go outside for a walk when pollen counts are generally lower. Tree and grass pollen in the spring and summer are worse in the early morning, and it's recommended that you wait until late morning or early afternoon (at the earliest) to do any outdoor activity to decrease exposure to these pollens.

Use An Air Purifier

Even with windows shut, you’ll likely have some allergens in your home. To reduce their impact on you, use an air purifier with a HEPA filter. These filters are designed to remove more than 99% of small particles, including common allergens like pollen, pet dander, and mold.

Some people also benefit from using a humidifier. Humidified air can make the nostrils less prone to irritation and allergens, but humidifiers themselves can sometimes worsen allergens like mold and dust mites. Talk with your healthcare provider about whether a humidifier might help your allergies.

Take Extra Precautions When Pollen Counts Are High

During the spring, summer, and fall, it’s easy to find pollen counts for a given region. These reports tell you whether the amount of pollen in the air is low, medium, or high. On days when the count is higher, keep your windows closed, consider wearing a mask outside, or pre-empt your symptoms by taking medication.

Take Over-The-Counter Medications 

The best way to get rid of seasonal allergies before they start is by taking over-the-counter medications. Antihistamines, like Claritin, or nasal corticosteroids, like Flonase (fluticasone), can be taken daily during allergy season to keep symptoms at bay. If your symptoms are less frequent, you can also take oral antihistamines to interrupt a seasonal allergy attack that has already begun. As needed, the usage of nasal steroids is less effective in controlling symptoms.

Rinse Sinuses

Rinsing your sinuses can clear allergens and mucus from your nose, making you less likely to have allergy symptoms. Use a saline solution from the drug store, or combine a cup of distilled or boiled water (once it has cooled) with half a teaspoon of salt and a pinch of baking soda. Do not use tap water.

Shower Before Bed

Even with precautions, you’re exposed to lots of irritants as you move through the day. During the seasons when your allergies are the worst, shower before bed. This will remove pollen, mold spores, or other allergens from your skin, nasal passages, and hair. It will also ensure you’re not exposed while you sleep.

Alternative Treatments

Some people can get rid of seasonal allergies by using natural remedies. These treatments don’t have a ton of scientific support, but some people find them helpful. They include exercising regularly, getting enough vitamin D, eating local honey, and taking other supplements and vitamins. Talk with your healthcare provider about which alternative treatments might help you.

When to See a Healthcare Provider

Seasonal allergies are a fact of life for many people, but effective treatments are available. If you haven’t spoken with your healthcare provider about your allergies before, it’s a good time to have the conversation. If you notice changes to your allergy symptoms or the times you experience seasonal allergies, you should also talk with your healthcare provider. 

Any time you're experiencing facial or throat swelling, trouble breathing, or any other concerning symptoms, call 911 or seek medical help immediately.

Summary

Seasonal allergies can happen in the summer, spring, or fall. There’s no way to get rid of seasonal allergies entirely, but you can use lifestyle changes and medications to reduce your symptoms and improve your quality of life during allergy season. 

A Word from Verywell 

Seasonal allergies can be incredibly frustrating. Finding a care plan that works for you will help you feel more like yourself during allergy season. Talk with your healthcare provider about how to prevent seasonal allergies and control symptoms during flare-ups.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What month is allergy season?

    Allergies can occur at any time. Seasonal allergies occur most often in the spring, summer, and fall, and become rare during the winter months.

  • How long do seasonal allergies last?

    Seasonal allergies will last for as long as you are exposed to the allergen, often several weeks at a time. Some people outgrow their seasonal allergies, but some have them for life.

  • What time of day are allergies the worst?

    Allergies are often worse when pollen counts are highest. In the spring and summer, levels are highest in the morning, and during the fall, they're highest in the evenings.

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4 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. American Academy of Family Physicians. What is allergic rhinitis?

  2. MedlinePlus. Allergic rhinitis.

  3. American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Seasonal allergies.

  4. Allergy and Asthma Network. HEPA filters: Help or hype?