KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Beautiful weather has arrived in East Tennessee, and along with the season comes those seasonal allergies. Many traits of the area lend it toward a worse allergy season than many other areas in the country, like a high concentration of plants that produce pollen, along with environmental factors like high humidity and warmer temperatures.
So for many folks in the area, the question of allergies is not if they will come, but rather how to deal with them when they do. To find the answer to that question, Local 8 News reporter Robert Grant reached out to Dr. Ty Prince with the Allergy, Asthma & Sinus Center in Knoxville to find out which remedies will stifle those sniffles, and which will leave you itching for relief.
Dr. Prince said folks could solve a lot of problems from home without ever hitting the doctor's office. He recommended taking a shower right after coming in from the outside, which can help wash away pollen and steam away any inflammation in the sinuses. Dr. Prince also recommended saline sprays, which can help clear out any congestion.
In the worst case scenario, medical professionals recommended a simple fix: staying inside.
"We know for sure staying inside will help with outdoor allergies," Dr. Prince said.
What's not so sure? Some of those at-home remedies you may have heard of, like eating local honey.
"We can't prove that eating local honey works, but patients seem to love it," Dr. Prince said. "Nobody's complained about the taste of that medicine."
He also said supplements like vitamin C have not been proven to fight allergies, though taking the right amount definitely won't hurt you.
The doctor said sometimes the best solution to treating allergies isn't to introduce a new form of weaponry against them, but to simply limit your exposure. For example, staying away from cigarette smoke, avoiding breathing the outdoor air when pollution levels are high, or just cutting yourself off from perfumes or strong smells can help cut down on irritation.
"Decreasing your exposure helps with these things a lot," Dr. Prince said.
If at-home solutions haven't eased your allergy discomfort, visit a medical professional to seek counsel or a treatment plan.