Spring has many virtues: warm weather, gorgeous blooms for聽floral DIYs, cute聽shift dresses for Easter Sunday. But there鈥檚 one springtime visitor we can do without: the聽seasonal allergies聽brought on聽by all the pollen, dust, and mold. 鈥淭he long winter and all the rain have made pollen counts particularly high this year,鈥 Pennsylvania-based allergist Dr. Sandra Gawchik explains.聽The tiny pollen specks that help guarantee us a green, blossom-filled summer also cause some of our bodies聽to go into fight mode, triggering sneezy, wheezy symptoms.聽Depending on how bad things get, your doctor can recommend the best course of treatment, but there are things anyone can do to help your situation on the front end. We tapped experts to dish on solid habits and hacks to curb and calm the seasonal woes聽that plague nearly 50 million聽Americans.

Young woman cleaning the house with vacuum

1. Clean, clean, clean.聽Hit your carpets, curtains, behind the bed, under couches, inside your car聽鈥 everywhere you typically skip and where allergen-filled dust accumulates, waiting聽to wreak havoc. Laura Martinez, director at Agua Spa in Miami鈥檚 Delano Hotel, tells us that cleaning is聽the best thing you can do to control and prevent allergy attacks. You can鈥檛 live in a bubble (though some days it may be tempting), but you can do your part to limit exposure. 鈥淵ou have to set yourself up for success and protect your spaces before things get worse,鈥 Martinez maintains. Spend a day getting everything tidy聽and clean, and then set up a simple weekly cleaning routine聽to keep allergens at bay.

2. Make a tonic.聽Whip up聽an isotonic saline nasal rinse to clear out any pollen hanging around your nasal cavity. Allergist Dr. Linda Ford聽suggests mixing聽1/2 teaspoon of non-iodized salt with 1/4聽teaspoon baking soda in 1聽cup of distilled water. Use a neti pot or spray bottle to rinse聽away culprits.

3. Get some vitamin C.Dr. Jesse Sandhu,聽Medical Director at IV vitamin treatment center聽VitaSquad, explains that the body releases histamines to 鈥渇ight off鈥 allergens, which is what causes sneezing, watery eyes, and all the other annoying (and sometimes debilitating) symptoms. 鈥淢ost people don鈥檛 know vitamin C is a natural antihistamine,鈥 he observes. 鈥淚 recommend taking it in high doses.鈥 You can take the vitamin as a dietary supplement or through an IV, which is said to be more potent. 鈥淰itamin C is a safe, water-soluble vitamin, so you cannot overdose,鈥 Dr. Sandhu reassures us.

4. Wash your hair. We love our dry shampoo too! But skipping washes this time of year isn鈥檛 great for allergy sufferers. Dr. Sakina Bajowala聽of Allergist Mommy聽recommends that you wash your hair every day.聽鈥淎irborne allergens can get聽trapped in your hair during the day,鈥 she points out. 鈥淲ash it聽out each night, so you don鈥檛 end up sleeping in a mane full of pollen or mold all night.鈥

5. Rethink your wardrobe. Dr.聽Bajowala also suggests wearing聽natural fibers, like cotton and linen, which produce less static electricity and attract fewer聽allergen particles.聽Silk is also a safe choice.

family washing dog

6. Bathe your pup.聽Just like your hair, fur is a pollen magnet, which is why you should be more diligent with your pet鈥檚聽hygiene in the spring and summer. 鈥淭his will decrease exposure to pollen when cuddling furry family members,鈥 reveals Dr. Pamela Georgeson of Michigan鈥檚 Kenwood Allergy & Asthma Center. Wipe down outdoor-loving pets every day,聽and commit to bathing them at least once a week.

7. Chill out.聽Not only are puffy, red eyes not cute, but they鈥檙e also super uncomfortable, especially when the puffiness is coupled with itching. Although only meds will take care of the core symptoms, Dr. Gawchik suggests using cold compresses for immediate, short-term relief. Fill a basin with cold water and ice cubes, and soak two washcloths in it. Wring one of the washcloths out, and hold it聽over your eyes until it鈥檚 no longer cold. Then swap out for the other icy聽rag. You鈥檒l start to feel relief in about 10 minutes.

8. Get a fan. As nice as it is to open a window on a lovely spring day, it鈥檚 also a surefire way to welcome pollen聽into your home. Most allergists recommend running your AC this time of year聽to cool your pad 鈥 just make sure the filters are clean 鈥 but if you prefer energy-efficient solutions, Dr. Gawchik suggests getting an exhaust fan, which聽works by sucking air in rather than blowing around stale聽air聽and allergens. You may also want to consider an air purifier, which makes air cleaner over time.

Young family under cherry blossoms tree

9. Track the pollen.聽Check pollen counts before going outside. Keep in mind聽that between 5am and 10am is prime pollen time. In the 18th century, botanist Carl Linnaeus聽created a 鈥渇lower clock鈥 that showed the daily patterns of dozens of blooms. Back then, he discovered the same thing weather apps tell us today: Most flowers open up in the early hours. Dr. Gawchik says those who are sensitive to pollen should avoid being outside during those times.

10. Breathe easy.Aromatherapy pros recommend sniffing oils to help clear nasal passages. Before trying any sort of aromatherapy, check聽that you are not allergic to the plant source to avoid聽triggering the same symptoms you are trying to fight. Martinez recommends eucalyptus because it鈥檚聽one of the聽most universal plants. 鈥淢ost people don鈥檛 have allergic reactions to eucalyptus,鈥 she asserts. 鈥淎nd it tends to work well for pregnant women too.鈥 She uses a eucalyptus spray everywhere from the bed, to the car, to聽the shower. (Martinez suggests placing聽a few drops around the drain to create a steam-room effect.)

Tweet聽us your natural allergy hacks聽@BritandCo!

(Photos via Getty)