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A detail shot of tulips displayed by Three Porch Farms at the opening of the 2019 Athens Farmer’s Market on Mar. 23, 2019 at Bishop Park in Athens, Georgia. Three Porch Farms is a flower farm run by Steve and Mandy O’Shea. (Photo/Julian Alexander)

April is well underway, which means that the spring season — and its flowers — are in full bloom. For some, the spring season calls for a celebration of warm weather and pretty flowers — for others, it only leads to itchy eyes and a runny nose. Here are seven ways to help combat pollen allergies.  

1. Drink herbal tea.

Teas are not only easy to buy and make, but various teas — from peppermint to dried ginger — can alleviate specific symptoms that are associated with pollen allergies, according to Healthline. Different teas help combat different things, so it’s important to figure out what tea is right for you. For example, peppermint can act as a decongestant, honey tea can help alleviate an itchy throat and dried ginger has anti-inflammatory properties.

MEplusTEA is a small Athens-based business that specializes in “blending cultural teas with local dried fruits, herbs and spices.” In fact, one of the hand-blended, loose-leaf teas include a blend called Allergy Relief, complete with nettle, peppermint, spearmint, eyebright, lemongrass, calendula, red clover, lavender, fennel and stevia. 

2. Wear an allergy mask.

Allergy masks, when you’re out and about, can be a great way to prevent pollen from entering your body through your nose and your mouth. While different masks serve different purposes, allergy masks in general help trap pollutants and allergens like pollen, mold and dust as you breathe. 

3. Mix apple cider vinegar into your water.

Although there’s still no clear scientific evidence apple cider vinegar can help prevent a pollen allergy, it’s been historically used as a treatment for various health conditions. Some studies suggest apple cider vinegar can act as an anti-inflammatory by reducing blood pressure, which can help relieve symptoms of an allergy, according to Healthline. The best way to take it is by mixing a tablespoon of it into a glass of water.

4. Change out of your “outside” clothes once you get home.

Clothes can carry a lot of dirt from outside, including pollen. In order to prevent pollen contamination in areas inside your home and to keep your allergies at bay when indoors, change into clean clothes (or even your pajamas) and stay away from re-wearing those clothes before you put them through the washer. 

5. Keep track of pollen counts on weather apps and plan accordingly.

A pollen count is a measurement of how much pollen is in the air, and the number may vary by day. In order to avoid the outdoors on high pollen count days or prepare accordingly for the amount of pollen, check weather apps, which will most likely have five-day pollen allergy forecasts.

6. Use saline nasal spray or create your own saline solution.

If you’re experiencing a nasal allergy to pollen, try looking for a saline nasal spray, which helps relieve sinuses, restore moisture in your nose and remove pollen from the nasal lining. You can even make your own saline solution by mixing 3 teaspoons of non-iodized salt and 1 teaspoon of baking soda and storing it in a jar. When ready to use, mix a teaspoon of the mixture into 8 ounces of previously boiled and cooled water, according to WebMD.  

7. Take night showers.

Often times, pollen doesn’t just linger on clothes — it can also linger on skin and hair. In order to prevent allergens from transferring from your skin and hair to your bed and pillow, take a shower before you go to bed. Not only will you feel extra clean when you go to sleep, but you’ll prevent any additional allergy triggers.  

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