Wondering what causes fall allergies? Fall allergy treatments range from conventional medications to natural remedies for fall allergies. From foods that help with seasonal allergies to supplements for allergies, there are plenty of natural ways to relieve annoying allergy symptoms.
Read on to discover the top 10 treatments for natural fall allergy relief.
What Causes Fall Allergies?
Seasonal changes can trigger reactions in the body, especially in your immune system. The triggers that cause an allergic reaction are called allergens. Common seasonal allergens include:
• Dust mites
• Pollens (such as ragweed)
• Trees, grasses, and weeds
One specialized kind of immune cell is called a mast cell. The mast cell plays a role in many body functions, including the following:
• Blood vessel regulation and health
• Immune response
Mast cells are also linked to the disease pathways of many disorders, including allergies. These types of cells contain chemicals crucial to an allergic response, such as histamine and cytokines.
Common Symptoms of Fall Allergies
Symptoms for allergy sufferers, such as sneezing, may sound subtle but can make everyday activities trickier than usual. Other unpleasant signs of seasonal allergies include:
• Hay fever symptoms (a.k.a. Allergic rhinitis)
• Itchy eyes, nose, and mouth
• Stuffy or runny nose
• Seasonal allergic asthma
• Swollen or watery eyes
Fall Allergy Treatment
Traditional methods of treating seasonal allergies often include medicine. Commonly prescribed treatments include:
• Corticosteroid or cromolyn sodium nasal sprays
• Oral antihistamines
• Oral decongestants (i.e. Zyrtec, Allegra-D, or Claritin-D)
Allergy Shots for Allergies
Another popular form of conventional treatment for allergies is allergy shots. A type of immunotherapy, allergy shots are a type of treatment that contains small amounts of an allergen, just enough to stimulate the immune system.
Allergy shots are typically administered in two phases:
1. The buildup phase:The first 3-6 months, with shots given 1-3 times weekly (dose gradually increased)
2. The maintenance phase: The following 3-5 years, with shots given once monthly
By exposing the body to increasing amounts of the allergen, the body’s reaction to that allergen becomes less intense. Over time, the body can go from having a significant reaction to building up a tolerance (or even immunity) to the original allergen. Essentially, allergy shots can help your body become desensitized to your allergies over time.
While the shots do work for many people, they can be a significant time commitment and hundreds of dollars a year. Plus, during the first year of treatment, you often have to stay an additional 30 minutes (or more) after each shot to make sure a severe allergic reaction doesn’t happen.
Natural Remedies for Fall Allergies
Luckily, other home remedies made of more natural ingredients exist. Natural remedies are helpful when conventional medicine can’t control the day-to-day maintenance of allergies. A combination of several different approaches may help you find the best balance.
Instead of obsessing over pollen counts, try these natural remedies.
1. Essential Oils
It might sound cliche, but have you tried essential oils? Scents can be powerful, and even prompt the opening of nasal passages and clear airways. Popular picks and natural antihistamines include:
• Holy Basil
• Sandalwood and frankincense
• Tea tree oil
2. High-Efficiency Air Filters
You may think your allergens only exist outside during the fall season, but triggers can also be dragged into the house. Particles can hitchhike on clothing or pets, making outdoor airborne allergens flourish indoors. Place a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter in places where you spend a lot of time (i.e. your office, bedroom, or living room).
3. Shower In The Evening -> Evening Showers
Showering at the end of the day can help wash off any allergens you’ve picked up on your clothing, skin, or hair. If you don’t shower right before bed, your body can transfer your allergy triggers onto your sheets. Then, you’ll be breathing in allergy-inducing pollen all night long and may wake up with congestion. If you don’t have time for a shower, be sure to at least change into a clean pair of clothes.
4. Nasal Sprays
Nasal passages can become clearer with the help of saline sprays. Saline is essentially a mixture of salt water that is at a ratio the body recognizes. It can help the body wash out toxins and rebalance. Using a saline nasal spray helps to rinse the sinuses of allergens lurking within.
5. Nasal Irrigation Devices
Devices like the neti pot have become popular in recent years for helping to alleviate clogged sinuses, common colds, and aggravating allergies. As long as distilled, sterile, or previously boiled water is used, these devices are considered safe when used according to instructions. Rinsing the sinuses with a nasal irrigation device can help get rid of allergens like pollen or dust.
Drinks & Foods That Help With Seasonal Allergies
Did you know that some foods are natural antihistamines? About 70% of the human immune system is rooted in the gut, so it makes sense that eating the foods can help you handle an allergy attack.
Consuming a proper amount of water can help flush out allergens. If you are fighting allergies, drinking enough electrolyte-rich fluids during seasonal struggles can help keep you hydrated and recovering. During seasons of sickness, you can become dehydrated, so it is extra important to keep your hydration levels up in order to beat seasonal allergies naturally.
7. Nutrient-Rich Dishes
Nutrients, like natural antihistamine vitamin C, are crucial to maintaining a functioning immune system. Fatty fish (or fish oil supplements) are rich in healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids and can also help your body with inflammation. Additionally, eating lots of fruits and vegetables (particularly leafy greens) can provide other compounds known to help fight infection, like quercetin and flavonoids.
8. Local Honey
While not fully backed by science yet, some people consume local honey to prevent seasonal allergies. This is thought to work, and backed by anecdotal evidence because local honey is made by local bees that consume local pollen.
Consuming local honey about a month before seasonal allergies occur may help your body be exposed to local pollen in small amounts. Essentially, this method works similarly to allergy shots, but uses a more natural substance.
Supplements For Allergies
Can supplements suppress allergies? The following types of supplements may provide you with some relief.
As mentioned above, gut health can greatly affect immune health. Probiotics can strengthen the integrity of the intestines. They come in the form of pills or capsules, but can also be obtained from certain foods in the diet (i.e. yogurt).
10. Stinging Nettle
Considered a natural antihistamine and staple in herbal medicine, stinging nettle has been used for ages to alleviate immune system overreactions. It’s used in a variety of forms, including its original use as a tea. Today, people purchase it in properly prepared capsules, tinctures, and freeze-dried preparations.
The Final Word On Fall Allergy Relief
In any case, relief doesn’t come overnight when it comes to allergies. However, there are many natural, homemade remedies that can significantly ease symptoms without the negative side effects.
The bottom line? Keeping an open mind to alternative treatments can help keep your sinuses open, too.
Anderson M. 5 Natural Fall Allergies Remedies for Families. Tom’s of Maine. https://www.tomsofmaine.com/good-matters/healthy-feeling/5-natural-fall-allergies-remedies-for-families.
Bhandari P. 7 Natural Remedies for Seasonal Allergies. Advanced Health. https://www.sfadvancedhealth.com/blog/7-natural-remedies-for-seasonal-allergies.
Home Remedies for Seasonal Allergies. Cleveland Clinic. Published April 2022. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/natural-remedies-for-seasonal-allergies/.
Is Rinsing Your Sinuses With Neti Pots Safe? U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Published August 2021. https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/rinsing-your-sinuses-neti-pots-safe.
Krystel-Whittemore M, Dileepan KN. Wood JG. Mast Cell: A Multi-Functional Master Cell. Front Immunol. 2015;6:620.
Li JTC. Neti pot: Can it clear your nose? Mayo Clinic. Published February 2022. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/common-cold/expert-answers/neti-pot/faq-20058305.
National Institutes of Health. Mast cell. Cancer.gov. Accessed 2022.
Orosz G. Essential Oils for Seasonal Allergies. Hackensack Meridian Health. Published June 2018. https://www.hackensackmeridianhealth.org/en/HealthU/2018/06/26/essential-oils-for-seasonal-allergies#.Yx-X53bMLMZ.
Raman R. 6 Evidence-Based Benefits of Stinging Nettle. Healthline. Published November 2018. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/stinging-nettle.
Seasonal allergies: Nip them in the bud. Mayo Clinic. Published April 2022. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hay-fever/in-depth/seasonal-allergies/art-20048343.
Stinging nettle. Mount Sinai. https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/herb/stinging-nettle.
Vollbracht C, Raithel M, Krick B, Kraft K, Hagel AF. Intravenous vitamin C in the treatment of allergies: an interim subgroup analysis of a long-term observational study. J Int Med Res. 2018;46(9):3640-3655.