Spring has finally arrived, which means the sun is shining, birds are chirping and flowers are blooming. Unfortunately, it also means that noses are running and eyes are itching… It is the time of the year for many when allergies are in full force. A common misconception regarding spring allergies is that medicine is the only way to treat them. Studies have found that there are additional ways to relieve your allergies this season.

Did you know that a healthy, nutritious diet can combat your allergies? Researchers have found that antioxidants can decrease inflammation inside your body, which is key to keeping allergies under control and reducing symptoms. Try adding these antioxidant-rich super foods to your daily diet: blueberries, cranberries, blackberries and raspberries. The more berries, the better! Other foods that have a high antioxidant concentration are artichokes, kidney and pinto beans, pecans, walnuts and hazelnuts. Incorporating these fruits, veggies and nuts into your diet this spring season will help alleviate the annoying, painful symptoms of allergies.

Air that is filled with pollen, pet dander, mold and dust is your worst enemy if you suffer from allergies. It is very important to regularly clean the vents in your home, as well as change the filters to your air conditioner every three months. Also, avoid using window fans, as they bring the allergens directly into your home. You can also combat dust and mold in your home by running a dehumidifier this season. Keeping the humidity levels under control will prevent you from feeling “stuffed up” and will allow you to breathe with ease.

As mentioned before, dust and dander will worsen your allergies. A deep, intense spring-cleaning can help rid your home of dust mites and other allergens. Clean everything. Dust dressers, shelves, tables, counters, ceiling fans, etc. You should use a damp rag or cloth rather than a dry one, as a dry rag will simply spread the dust. Strip all of the beds and wash the sheets and comforters. Scrub the shower and the rest of your bathroom to ensure that there is no mold build up. While your dog or cat is a member of the family, if you suffer from allergies, you should not let him or her sleep in your bed. Your bedroom should be pet-free, as pet dander is a common allergen.

Now that you know there are more ways to conquer your allergies than simply taking your daily antihistamine, you can feel your best yet this spring season!