All About Hay Fever + How To Keep Your Seasonal Allergy Symptoms Under Control Naturally

A woman with hay fever sneezing into a handkerchief.

You can experience hay fever year-round if you’re allergic to different trees or grass pollens, dust mites, or mold. But allergens are at an all-time high during the spring and summer.

Spring is that amazing time of year when the snow melts, the weather warms up, and all the plants begin to bloom again. It can be absolutely beautiful, watching life return to all the plants and trees that were dormant during the winter. However, you may be singing a different tune if you experience hay fever.

Millions of Americans suffer from hay fever every year— and the symptoms can range from mildly annoying to debilitating. But there are ways to enjoy the beauty of nature— even during spring without aggravating your hay fever and by keeping your seasonal allergy symptoms under control naturally. And all without prescription or OTC drugs.

You can skip ahead to the list of natural allergy remedies, but if you’re curious about hay fever — what it is and why your body experiences so many uncomfortable symptoms — keep reading.  

What is Hay Fever?

Hay fever— also known as allergic rhinitis— is an allergic reaction to environmental irritants. The name is a little misleading though— it's not just hay that causes your allergy symptoms. Hay fever can be caused by a lot of different allergens.

There are two different types of hay fever depending on what's causing your symptoms.

  • Seasonal allergic rhinitis: This is probably what you think of when you hear "hay fever." These allergies occur during spring, summer, and early fall. These seasonal allergy symptoms are typically caused by pollen from trees, grass (including hay), weeds, or by mold spores in the air.
  • Perennial allergic rhinitis: This occurs when you experience your symptoms year-round. This is normally caused by allergens like dust mites, pet dander, mold, or even cockroaches. Food allergies typically don't contribute to perennial hay fever. [1]

It's even possible to experience both kinds of hay fever at the same time! When this happens, your perennial symptoms may get worse during seasons when pollen is high.

Your hay fever symptoms can even be triggered by other irritants like smoke, diesel exhaust, cleaning solutions, and even perfume.

Typical hay fever symptoms include:

  • Runny nose or stuffy nose
  • Itchy or watery eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Fatigue— especially if nighttime allergies or nasal congestion have been keeping you up at night

Your allergy symptoms aren't caused by the irritants themselves— they're caused by your body's reaction to them. Each symptom is actually an allergic reaction. When the offending irritant enters your body, your immune system essentially overreacts in an attempt to get the irritant out of your system.

So if you're experiencing any of the above symptoms, keep in mind that it's your body at work trying to protect you! That may not sound especially reassuring if you're in misery though.

How Hay Fever Can Impact Daily Life

It can be hard to function if your allergies are flaring up. Aside from being uncomfortable, hay fever has also been associated with:

  • Irritability
  • Reduced concentration and focus issues
  • Memory problems
  • Sleep disorders

If you have medical conditions like a deviated septum, nasal polyps, or asthma, these can make your nasal allergy symptoms even more intense. All three are also associated with breathing difficulty year-round as well.

Seasonal allergy symptoms are also similar to those of the common cold. This can potentially cause confusion, especially since cold and flu season also happens during allergy season.

Related: Allergies or Cold? How to Tell the Difference

How to Keep Your Hay Fever Symptoms Under Control Naturally

When your seasonal allergy symptoms are driving you crazy, your first instinct is probably to reach for the over-the-counter (OTC) allergy medication including nasal spray, antihistamine eye drops, or allergy medicines in pill form. But there are lots of ways to treat your symptoms naturally without the OTC stuff.

Here are a few of our tips for relieving your hay fever symptoms naturally.

Tip #1: Use SinuSonic. The SinuSonic device uses a unique combination of gentle pressure and light acoustic vibrations to open your nasal passages naturally. Using SinuSonic regularly can even help you breathe more efficiently! Need to blow your nose during or after using SinuSonic? That means it's working! You can also use any of the tips below to complement your SinuSonic treatment and kick your allergy symptoms to the curb.

Tip #2: Use a cold compress to relieve eye allergy symptoms. A cold compress can help relieve and soothe itchy eyes. Just soak a clean washcloth in cold water, and apply it to closed eyes.

Tip #3: Use a neti pot or a saline solution to rinse your sinuses. Although a bit messy or time-consuming, saline solution or a neti pot are helpful natural alternatives to OTC or prescription nasal spray. The saline solution helps moisturize your nasal passages while also flushing out irritants like pollen.

Tip #4: Pay attention to pollen count. It can be hard to deal with seasonal pollen allergies if taking one step outside sends your symptoms into a tailspin. To prevent this, we recommend checking during pollen season. It can tell you what the allergy forecast is for your area— low, medium, or high— as well as what allergens are in the air. So whether you're allergic to tree pollen, grass pollen, or weed pollen, you can check to see each day's pollen count so you can prepare for the day.

Tip #5: Keep the windows closed. While spring weather is often very pleasant, opening the windows during pollen season can bring pollen into your home. And once it's inside, it can easily be inhaled— where it can irritate your airways. It can also stick to the soft surfaces in your home, like carpet, curtains, and furniture.

Related: How to Allergy-Proof Your Home

Got Spring Fever? Keep Those Allergies In Check!

Spring is a beautiful time of year when nature is in full blossom— but that can be a problem if you struggle with hay fever. Thankfully, it's easy to keep your symptoms under control so you can enjoy the beautiful weather. The best part? You can find relief from your hay fever naturally.

So go forth and enjoy that spring weather without worry. We definitely will be.

Want to breathe more freely? Check out SinuSonic!

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"AAFA." Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America,