Six surprising ways to stop the sniffles.
Just relax. Research suggests that chronic stress causes the release of hormones that can trigger allergy or asthma symptoms or make them worse.
Deep clean. Flush your nasal cavity with a water/salt solution daily using a teapot-like Neti pot (available at drugstores) to help ease sinus pressure.
Hair "do." Hair is a pollen magnet. Washing it at night will keep you from leaving allergens on your pillow, says allergist Dr. Clifford W. Bassett.
Tummy tip. Certain foods trigger symptoms in about one third of seasonal allergy sufferers. For instance, folks with tree pollen allergies may get sniffly after eating apples, cherries, almonds or walnuts. Cooking or peeling foods may help, but see an allergist if problems persist.
Prime time. Start taking your meds a couple of weeks before allergy season sets in, says Dr. Stanley Fineman of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Check weather.com for info on your area.
Workout wisdom. Plan outdoor activities around the peak pollen period of 5 a.m. to 10 a.m., says San Rafael, Calif. expert Dr. Rebecca G. Piltch. Pollen counts also tend to be high on warm, sunny, dry and windy days, when indoor exercise is a good option.