Written By: UMA Editorial Team |

Published on: March 14, 2024

Seasonal allergies, triggered by the body’s overreaction to pollen, are an annual menace affecting millions. Pollen, a powdery substance produced by trees, grass, and weeds, can lead to symptoms like a runny nose, sneezing, itchy eyes, and congestion. The timing of these allergies varies depending on the region according to this 2019 article, with spring being the prime season for pollen-induced distress. The battle against allergies is a yearly struggle for many but armed with the right knowledge, you can minimize the impact of these pesky symptoms. Let’s delve into the “Don’ts” of allergy management to ensure sustained well-being.

Spring is often the worst time for pollen,” says Melanie Carver, Chief Mission Officer for the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. However, fall can be a close second, catching many off guard.

Did you know? More than 100 million people in the U.S. experience various types of allergies each year 

Ng, Amanda E. ; Boersma, Peter (2023)

This year’s allergy season has been particularly severe. Pollen counts are 20% higher than in 1991, and the season started about a month earlier due to a mild winter and climate change. Dr. Purvi Parikh, an allergist and immunologist at NYU Langone Health, notes that pollen levels this year triggered more severe and prolonged allergy symptoms.


Why is this year’s allergy season hitting harder? Climate change plays a role. Warmer temperatures and increased carbon dioxide levels create optimal conditions for plant growth and pollen production. A mild winter allowed plants to bloom and release pollen earlier than usual.

Additionally, the decrease in mask-wearing, a common practice during the previous year, has exposed individuals to higher pollen levels. Masks provide a protective barrier against pollen exposure, and the reduction in mask usage has contributed to the increased severity of symptoms.

Did you know? Allergies are the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the U.S.

American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. (2018).

Common Symptoms: Be aware of the typical symptoms associated with seasonal allergies, including:

  • Runny nose and congestion
  • Cough
  • Itchy nose or throat
  • Watery, itchy, and red eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Mucus that runs down the back of your throat (postnasal drip)
  • Swollen and bruised-looking area under the eyes
  • Tiredness, often due to poor sleep from nasal congestion
  • Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening allergic reaction that can occur within seconds or minutes of exposure to an allergen.

Did you know? Each year in the U.S., it is estimated that anaphylaxis (a severe allergic reaction) to food results in 90,000 emergency room visits.

Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (2011)


Did you know?In 2021, approximately 81 million people in the U.S. were diagnosed with seasonal allergic rhinitis (hay fever). This equals around 26% (67 million) of adults and 19% (14 million) of children. 

Diagnosed allergic conditions in children aged 0-17 years: USA (2021)


Don’t Ignore or Wait to Treat Symptoms

Late-season allergies may persist for several more weeks, and it’s crucial not to underestimate the impact of symptoms. Allergies can be mistaken for a cold, but early intervention is key to preventing them from spiraling out of control.


Don’t Take the Wrong Allergy Medication

Choose 24-hour second-generation antihistamines like cetirizine (Zyrtec), loratadine (Claritin), or fexofenadine (Allegra). Avoid experimenting with mixed-ingredient medications, as they can worsen symptoms.


Don’t Forget to Take Allergy Medication Daily 

Consistency is key. Take antihistamines, nasal steroid sprays, and allergy eye drops daily, even when symptoms improve. Consult a doctor before adjusting dosage or giving these medications to children or if you’re pregnant.


Don’t Overuse Nasal Decongestant Sprays

Avoid overreliance on over-the-counter decongestant nasal sprays, as they can worsen congestion over time. Opt for nasal steroid sprays or consult your doctor about prescription antihistamine sprays.


Don’t Use Tap Water with Nasal Irrigation 

If using nasal irrigation, use distilled or sterile water to prevent complications. Nasal irrigation can help reduce congestion, but using the wrong water can lead to issues.

Did you know? The cost of nasal allergies is between $3 billion and $4 billion each year.

Current Medical Research and Opinion (2021)


Don’t Forget Your Eyes

Protect your eyes from pollen exposure by wearing sunglasses and using antihistamine eye drops before going outside. Avoid wearing contact lenses if possible, as they can trap pollen.


Don’t Leave Doors and Windows Open

Keep doors and windows closed during peak pollen times, especially on windy days. Use air conditioning and HEPA filters to reduce indoor allergen exposure.


Don’t Let Pollen into Your Bed

Change into clean clothes, shower, and wash your hair before getting into bed, especially if you’ve been outside. Wash bed linens weekly in hot water to remove pollen and allergens.


Don’t Forget to Check the Pollen Count

Track pollen counts through resources like the National Allergy Bureau. Plan outdoor activities around low pollen times and take precautions when exposure is inevitable.

Did you know? Black people and older adults in the U.S. have the highest rates of death due to allergic reactions to medicines, food, or unknown allergens.

Racial Differences in Allergic Sensitization (2013)

Ayurvedic Tips for Allergy Relief 

Beyond conventional remedies, Ayurveda offers natural solutions to combat allergies. Ayurveda, focusing on balancing Vata, Pitta, and Kapha doshas, can provide relief without complicated processes.

Five Best Ayurvedic Remedies to Calm Seasonal Allergies

1. Oil Pulling Treatment: Swishing UMA Pure Detox Oil Pulling Treatment in the mouth for up to 10 minutes removes mucus and bacteria, relieving throat issues associated with allergies.

2. Jal Neti Pot: Use a neti pot with distilled or sterilized water to relieve nasal congestion and remove allergens from the nasal cavity.

3. Herbs and Spices: Incorporate ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, cumin, honey, amla, and black pepper into your diet to balance digestive fire and alleviate allergy symptoms.

4. Panchakarma: Explore Panchakarma treatments like Vamana, Purgation, Virechana, Vasthi/Basti, Nasya nasal, and Rakta Moksha to release toxins and boost immunity.

5. Essential Oil Application: Incorporate essential oils like Lavender, Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, and Frankincense to open sinuses and combat perennial allergic rhinitis. Boil a few drops in water, inhale the steam, and benefit from their anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.

This allergy season’s challenges are met with both conventional and Ayurvedic approaches. By combining the scientific insights behind allergy triggers and effective remedies from Ayurveda, individuals can navigate the season with greater ease. Whether opting for modern treatments or embracing ancient practices, a holistic approach can make the difference in alleviating allergy woes.

*Consult a doctor before implementing these strategies for your allergies.