ALLERGY DROPS!!! Also known as SLIT - Sublingual Immunotherapy Treatment. They use the same stuff as allergy shots, but you take them under the tongue instead of via injection. They've used them in Europe since the 50s, but they're relatively "new" to the US. In looking around online, it seems that a lot of allergists are now offering them as an option.
Unfortunately, many insurance carriers won't pay for them (the doc's office was stunned mine did!). Even at that, my doc quoted me $300 for the first three month round, then $180 for each three month round after that for a year and a half.
The pros: fewer side effects than injections, no needles, you do it at home, and you see progress much faster. Because you take them daily, your "escalation" phase is over in three months instead of 1-2 years like with shots. The told me that I would likely be off of my allergy meds by mid-August, and I started them just over a week ago. I am also stoked that I can do it all at home instead of having to find an hour a week all summer to go in for shots.
The cons: can't think of any!
ETA: I"m allergic to more things than I'm not. Red cedar was off the charts. Horses and cats were both up there, too. They're able to treat all of these with my drops.
Nasal spray users: warning!...
Be very careful to spray them correctly, at an angle, towards the outside of your eye. It should go into your sinuses. If it's dropping down your nose, it may just EAT a hole in the middle of your nose. No joke!
And THAT is pretty gross. Just take my word for it. (Thankfully not visible unless you're peering UP my nose!) And I was probably using the sprays for less than 2 years!! Nobody warned me about it and I didn't read the small print.
Apparently it's hard to fix - I know someone who's had hers repaired a few times.
Two other things you can try that have NO side effects because they aren't drugs and are only beneficial to your body are a massage therapy and using peppermint.
There is a specific sinus massage that a good massage therapist can do that will really help open up the nasal passages. It will reduce inflammation of the passages AND will help lossen up any mucus that may be trapped in the nasal passages. Your nose will RUN for about 2-4 hours after that continuously, but then suddenly you'll be able to breathe! For my clients, this trick usually works (and keeps them clear!) for a good 24-72 hours.
The next best thing you can try (in case you can't afford massage) is to buy a bag of dried peppermint (like you'd find at a spice store) and literally just stick your nose in and inhale it every hour or two. It smells SO good, will help relax you, AND will also help open up those nasal passages. You can get a bag for like $3-4 bucks at penzeysspices.com
Hope that helps!!