Neti pots, allergy shots: 8 doctors share how they treat their own seasonal allergies. Here's what you can learn from them.

A young woman standing near a blooming tree holds a tissue to her nose.
About 25% of American adults suffer from seasonal allergies. (Getty Images)

Spring allergy season has hit most of the U.S., sparking uncomfortable symptoms such as stuffiness, sneezing and itchy eyes along the way. About 25% of American adults suffer from seasonal allergies — and a lot of people are searching for relief right now. While there are plenty of over-the-counter medications to treat allergy symptoms, it's usually helpful to visit a primary care physician or an allergist for a targeted care plan. However, even doctors themselves aren't immune to the effects of seasonal allergies. Yahoo Life consulted with eight health care providers who treat people with seasonal allergies about how they deal with their own allergy symptoms.

From regular allergy shots to showering when they get home, here's how they stay as comfortable as possible during allergy season.

Dr. Jackie Eastman, an allergist and immunologist with Corewell Health, tells Yahoo Life that she's allergic to tree pollen as well as grass and weed pollen. "For me, grass pollen is the worst," she says. Her allergies can lead to a stuffy nose, runny nose, sneezing and red, itchy eyes. "At its worst, I get asthma, including coughing and shortness of breath," Eastman says.

She takes four medications to keep her symptoms under control, including the antihistamine fexofenadine, a corticosteroid nasal spray and eye drops, and uses an inhaler. "In the spring, I need to shower every night before bed," Eastman says. "If I don't get the pollen out of my hair, my eyes are much worse in the morning."

Eastman also takes sublingual grass tablets, which are a form of oral immunotherapy that she places under her tongue. "I did this two years in a row, and by the third year I had only minimal symptoms during grass pollen season," she says. "This had the most benefit for me."

She adds: "Before the sublingual tablets, I really couldn't go outside in late May."

Skin prick testing revealed that Dr. David Corry, professor of medicine in immunology, allergy and rheumatology at Baylor College of Medicine, is "highly allergic" to most regional pollens, along with "almost anything that the allergist can throw at you," he tells Yahoo Life.

"My worst time has always been in the spring going into the summer, likely reflecting my severe allergies to grasses," he says. "My allergies as a child and adolescent were truly crippling to the point of incapacitation; I had to miss school for several days a year."

Corry says his symptoms are better now, although he needs to take several medications to keep them under control, including an antihistamine, eye drops and a corticosteroid on particularly bad days. However, he shares that his eye symptoms still can become debilitating for one to two days during the peak of oak pollen season.

"I have had to stop mowing grass at our Houston house and handed that off to a professional crew years ago. However, I still have acres of grass to mow at our farm in central Texas, where everything needs to get done by myself," Corry says. "At the farm, I wear an N95 mask and goggles to prevent inhalation of pollen and prevent it from getting into my eyes." Corry says that this is "nearly 100% effective" but he'll often take an antihistamine tablet after mowing to minimize the risk of having breakthrough symptoms.

After years of talking to patients about taking allergy shots, Dr. Basil Kahwash, an assistant professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, tells Yahoo Life that he finally chose to get them. "I decided to have some skin in the game myself," he says, noting that he's allergic to cats, grass pollens and several tree pollens.

Kahwash started taking the shots a year and a half ago and says he's still taking them. "Now I don't require as much medicine as I used to," he says. "Still, when this time of year hits, I'll take an antihistamine and that usually does the trick."

He says he's been surprised at how well the shots have worked for him. "The allergy shots have been extremely effective for me," he says. "It's surpassed even my expectations." Kahwash says that he's now "way less dependent on allergy medicine than I used to be."

Dr. Purvi Parikh, an allergist with Allergy & Asthma Network, tells Yahoo Life that she's allergic to grass, pollen and cats, which can set off symptoms such as nasal congestion; itchy, watery eyes and a sore throat. She takes a 24-hour antihistamine, although she steers clear of diphenhydramine (the active ingredient in Benadryl). "It wears off in six hours and causes more side effects like drowsiness and cognitive impairment," she says.

Parikh says it's been most helpful for her to start taking her medications early in the season. "I take medicine regularly, even on days I don't particularly feel bad during the season," she says.

Pollen and honeybee stings top the list of allergies for Lisa Olson-Gugerty, a nurse practitioner and associate teaching professor at Syracuse University who treats people with allergies. She struggles with symptoms such as itchy, watery eyes, a scratchy throat and coughing when the season starts. To keep her symptoms under control, she focuses on "consistent daily coverage" when it comes to taking her allergy medications. "Also, I change my daily antihistamine routine," she says. "I will buy the different generic ones and either complete one bottle and move on to the next or I will alternate the different kinds." She reaches for a daily long-acting antihistamine, such as loratadine, cetirizine, fexofenadine or levocetirizine, and uses a short-acting antihistamine — diphenhydramine — when her symptoms get worse at bedtime for "extra coverage."

Olson-Gugerty tells Yahoo Life that she's found that changing up the type of daily antihistamine she uses after she goes through a bottle is helpful for her. "Each type of antihistamine acts on a different part of the histamine cascade," she explains. "Think about the antihistamine as being a sponge, and it can only take so much histamine until it can no longer absorb anymore."

Dr. Michael Yong, an otolaryngologist and neurorhinologist at Pacific Neuroscience Institute in Santa Monica, Calif., tells Yahoo Life that he's allergic to dust, pollen, cats and more. "I focus a lot on allergen avoidance," he says. "I try to stay away from cats and, when there's a lot of pollen in the air, I will make a conscious effort to determine when and where I go out."

Yong says he will also wear an N95 mask during peak allergy season. "That really helps me," he says. He also takes an oral antihistamine, does a regular saline rinse and uses a steroid antihistamine nasal spray. "My allergies are not super severe, but they're bad enough that they cause me trouble here and there," he says.

Dr. Christina Gasbarro, a primary care doctor with Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, tells Yahoo Life that she's "allergic to everything in the world." Her seasonal allergies cause a runny nose, congestion and sneezing.

"During my 'bad' allergy season times — spring and fall — I try my best to use my neti pot daily," she says. The neti pot helps to rinse out debris and mucus from the sinus cavity, she explains. "I follow that with a nasal steroid that needs to be used daily for it to be effective," Gasbarro says.

If she's still struggling, she'll use an antihistamine nasal spray. "I personally haven't found oral antihistamines to be very helpful for me," she adds. Gasbarro says she's also received allergy immunotherapy shots in the past, "which did help some."

'I don't take medicine at all anymore. I'm a real success story.'

Dr. Andrew Wiznia, an allergist and immunologist at Northern Westchester Hospital and Northwell's Cohen Children's Physician Partners, tells Yahoo Life that he was allergic to "everything" growing up, especially tree and grass pollen. "When I would play Little League baseball, I would rub my eyes between pitches," he says. "I missed a pitch and got hit in the face with a line drive. That was the point where my parents said I had suffered enough."

Wiznia says his allergies were "terrible" and constant, so his doctor recommended that he take allergy immunotherapy shots. He was on them for nine years, and he now says that his seasonal allergies are gone. His past with allergies pushed him to become an allergist. "Now I don't take medicine at all anymore," he says. "I'm a real success story."