If you haven’t heard, the 2013 allergy-season forecast is not particularly encouraging for most areas of the nation. Not only did it start earlier than usual, but experts predict it will linger longer, too, by an entire month, proceeding straight through October. This may sound daunting to the some 40 million Americans plagued with watery eyes, sneezing, runny nose, coughing and other symptoms from indoor/outdoor allergies (most common among them pollen from grass, trees, and weeds; mold; dust mites; and, pet dander). Yet there’s good news: Research has revealed potential new ways to spell relief.

Running

When a group of seasonal allergy sufferers ran for 30 minutes, researchers found that allergy symptoms (including congestion, runny nose, and sneezing) dropped by more than 70 percent, according to a study recently reported by Men’s Health, which recommended runners clock their running workouts at least a moderate pace. An easy way to determine the intensity of your workout is to try the talk test. If you are running at a moderate pace, you should be able to talk but not sing while you stride. If you want to amp it up, you’ll be in the vigorous-exercise zone when you can only say a few words before needing to stop to take a breath, according to the CDC. Remember to check with your doctor before beginning any new fitness regimen, especially if you have been inactive or if you have a heart condition.

Acupuncture

A recent Annals of Internal Medicine trial concluded that the alternative medicine practice known as acupuncture may ease hay fever. When 422 adults with seasonal allergic rhinitis (hay fever) who experienced plant-pollen-caused runny-and-stuffy nose received either antihistamines, acupuncture (with antihistamines as needed), or sham acupuncture (with antihistamines as needed), those who received acupuncture treatments reported experiencing some relief in allergy symptoms. After 12 treatments over about eight weeks, those in the acupuncture group reported modestly improved symptoms and that were able to rely less on medication. The effects vanished within two months after the last acupuncture session, though.

If you suffer from seasonal allergies and are not getting the relief you need, ask your allergist if one of these options may be an appropriate supplement to your existing allergy treatment.

If your doctor approved, would you try one of these potential treatment options for your allergies?