Everything You Need for Your Allergy Season Survival Kit

Adriana Velez | Apr 23, 2014 Healthy Living

allergy kit pinAllergy season is upon us, my friends. Are you ready? It's time to gather your allergy survival kit. We asked our fellow sufferers what must-have remedies they keep on hand every year -- besides the obvious boxes and boxes of the softest tissues you can find. Oh, and the big guns: Steroid nasal spray and allergy shots. Yikes! We're talking about soothers you can get without a prescription and keep in a basket on your desk, in your bedside table drawer, and in your glove compartment.

  • Pollen Counter

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    What to expect when you're expecting pollen: It helps if you know how bad your day is going to be. WebMD's handy oollen calculator can give you a daily local misery forecast.

  • Apple Cider Vinegar

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    Andy Roberts/Flickr

    This is a surprise -- apple cider vinegar can help alleviate symptoms. But it has to be the funky hippie stuff: Unfiltered organic vinegar with the mother. Add a teaspoon to a glass of water.

  • Locally-Produced Honey

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    Siona Karen/Flickr

    Honey produced locally is said to help alleviate and even prevent symptoms. I think the idea is you're inoculating yourself with the pollen that drives you mad by eating it in the form of honey. That's why it's important that it's produced as close by you as possible. Doctors are skeptical that honey cures allergies, though. Allergist Dr. Clifford Bassett says, "Honeybees transfer pollen from flowers, however that is insect pollination. Seasonal allergens like pollen are generally triggered by wind pollination, not insects, and therefore the prevailing evidence does not support this practice." Some people find it soothing in herb tea, though.

  • Stinging Nettle

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    John Tann/Flickr

    Clinical naturopath Serron Wilkie recommends drinking nettle tea daily a couple months before allergy season begins. Then, take nettle tincture during allergy season. She also recommends eating the leaves. Careful, though. Dr. Bassett warns that nettles aren't effective for sufferers who have high-level sensitives. "Also, as with any herb there can be interactions with medications and contamination especially when supplements are prepared and manufactured overseas."

  • Throat Lozenges

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    If you get a sore throat from your allergies you'll want some lozenges. I like Thayers Slippery Elm Lozenges and Ricola Throat Drops.

  • Decongestant Eye Drops

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    Wayne Truong/Flickr

    Now for your itchy, water eyes ... I'm sorry, I know. Even reading the words burns my eyeballs. Careful not to take these more than two or three days in a row.

  • Neti Pot

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    Gaurav Mishra/Flickr

    The neti pot freaks a lot of people out -- it's definitely not for everyone. And yeah, it does feel really funky and takes practice. But once you've got it down, it's kind of brilliant. AND, you'll safe the end of your poor, worn out nose.

    Here's a video showing how to use a neti pot.

  • Windows

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    You probably already knew this -- but it's wise to keep your windows and doors closed during allergy season. And inspect them for films of pollen. WebMD says get an air filter only after you've tried everything else, but closing windows is a smart start.

  • You Local Allergist

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    Matt Bird/Corbis

    This is probably the most important part of your allergy season survival kit. Dr. Bassett recommends working with a local allergist "to get tested and pinpoint your allergy triggers. Then you can have an individualized, customized allergy plan to meet your needs." That could be anything from the heavy-duty steroid nasal sprays, to over-the-counter drugs, to something else much milder, depending on your individual case.

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