If allergy meds aren't helping your congestion, tiredness, and other pollen-triggered symptoms, you could be battling a health hassle that masquerades as seasonal allergies. Thankfully, these easy remedies erase symptoms fast.
Itchy eyes? Apply a Warm Compress
Hormone changes after age 50 trigger dry, itchy eyes for 62 percent of us — and chronic eye discomfort increases your risk of tiredness by 61 percent! Luckily, heating your eyelids for five minutes daily with a warm washcloth improves blood flow and erases eye symptoms more quickly than prescription drops. Alternately, you can try this microwavable eye mask from Heyedrate ($14.97, Amazon), which provides heat therapy when warm for 15 to 20 minutes.
Dry cough? Take a Spoonful of Honey
Up to 60 percent of heartburn sufferers experience throat irritation and a dry cough, which are often blamed on fall allergies, say Columbia University researchers. Savoring 1 Tbs. of honey neutralizes wayward stomach acid, nixing throat irritation in two minutes.
Bonus: Recent studies suggest that adding 3 milligrams of melatonin ($8.85, Amazon) at bedtime heals and strengthens the stomach valve, preventing heartburn as effectively as prescription meds.
You can also try Caleb Treeze Stops Acid Reflux apple cider, ginger, and garlic juice formula ($10.99, Amazon), which claims to stop acid reflux in its tracks in 60 seconds or less. (Note: Check with your doctor before supplementing).
Runny nose? Try a Gentle Rinse
Sinuses can overreact to dry air, car exhaust, perfumes or other irritants, says allergist Glen Scadding, M.D. Using an over-the-counter saline nasal rinse (we like this one from AYR, $7.12, Amazon) once daily flushes out irritants and adds moisture, cutting symptoms by 32 percent, often from the first use.
Meanwhile, if you have a sinus infection, nasal spray containing xylitol (like Xlear, $26.44, Amazon) could cut your recovery time in half. This sugar alcohol breaks down the protective coating sinus bacteria use to hide from your immune system.
You can also add a daily 2,000 IU dose of vitamin D-3 ($6.75, Amazon), a nutrient that calms inflammation: Cornell University researchers say it could cut symptoms by as much as 68 percent.
Throbbing head? Order up a big salad
Up to 86 percent of what we think are allergy-triggered sinus headaches are actually migraines caused by fall weather changes, says neurologist Elena Cantone, M.D. An easy fix: Enjoying two cups of fresh vegetables daily could make your sinus migraines 66 percent shorter, thanks to the pain-killing carotenoids found within. Green beans ($3.98, Amazon), anyone?
If It Is Allergies...
Wear cotton, linen or other natural fibers, and you could cut the amount of pesky pollen stuck to your clothing (and you!) by as much as 50 percent, reveals research at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. That’s because when polyester, rayon and other synthetic fabrics rub against each other, they build up static electricity, which attracts pollen.
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.
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