Coping with seasonal allergies

Spring is here, so happy Spring! If you have allergies spring may not be your best time of year. If it buds, flowers or spills pollen it becomes a hazard zone. All the molds from the decay of winter suddenly seem to stand at attention like an army. 

So if you go out in the woods today or anywhere else that is a zone that might affect you, here are tips to pull you through.

Carry a tissue or hanky. 

Cropped shot of a young woman blowing her nose with a tissue at home

Have eyedrops handy Sometimes our eyes will get dry or runny. If your eyes keep running you might need a prescription. 

Drink more water. It helps to flush out toxins and replenish what we might lose during complications of medications we might need to take or from the symptoms of our allergies themselves.

Allergy shots This is a medical process that is used to build up an immunity to the thing that is triggering your body to become a snot or allergy factory. If you are not ok with needles this might not be an option for you.

Bee pollen from your area can help build a tolerance to the things in your environment that could affect you. If you travel to a different area you might not have built the same resistance to the growth in that area.

Neti pots, this is a type of nose wash, I in my years have not found it pleasant. The trade off is not being so congested that I can’t breath well. So I boil and cool the water I use, this will kill of nasty parasites or other harmful pathogens that could be hanging out in your water. You can also use distilled water, most pharmacies and many other grocery stores carry it. 

I have a good quality ceramic neti pot, I clean it well after every use. There are plastic ones on the market, I’m not as happy about them. If you disinfect your pot more than one family member can use the same one, it must be disinfected and air dried between people. If more than one person needs to use it in a short time please buy more than one.

Homeopathic is a more holistic approach to helping your allergies, some see practitioners specifically trained in homeopathic treatments. You can buy over the counter brands from health food stores. Please if you have other health conditions or if you are on any other medications, see someone professional. Medical doctors like your General practitioner often don’t have the training to know if this would have adverse effects on other medical problems. I have asked my pharmacist and they had very little knowledge on what contraindications could happen. When taking homeopathic medication take them before putting other things in your mouth,  food, medications, smoking even toothpaste can change the way the medicine works.

Warm face cloth: They have been a blessing in my life. I use them to relieve pressure on my sinuses. They are amazing at relaxing the whole face or to put over the crusty sore morning eyes. I often put a drop of essential oil on the cloth when it is still very wet and then wring it out and put it on my face. Please be mindful when you are dealing with essential oils and you have seasonal allergies not to use one that will trigger the reaction. You also want to make sure it is not a skin irritant or phototoxic ( means don’t go out in the sun or under UV lighting.)

Clean out your Air Filter: If you have forced a forced air system you could benefit from professional duct cleaning. Having this done can reduce the pollutants in your air. Some use cameras in the vents and can show foreign objects, damage and other blockages. This option can run you hundreds of dollars. You can type in your browser ‘Duct cleaning services’. Often they will give a free quote, they often can tell you right on the phone if you know how many vents your whole home has. Things to prepare for having your ducts cleaned. Tuck clutter away. Give access to all the vents, have a safe place to have your pets/ children when they come in to clean. Doing this will cut down on dust. Air vents hold molds bacteria and other irritants that can irritate the respiratory system, and can put our immune defenses down.

Air purifiers need cleaning too, if they have hepa filters you will need to read the instructions of your make and model for care and also to find out if it is a filter that can be washed.

Run a humidifier if you have one, clean it once a month. I use warm soapy water and a bit of peroxide to clean the ones at our home. When your symptoms are dry eye, nose or throat it can be a benefit. If you have runny eyes or nose they can get very crusty when you’re sleeping so having one near your bed can help you feel a bit better.

Allergy medications; Not all allergy medications are built alike. Benadryl is one that will often make most sleepy. What will be best for you will depend on your symptoms. Please chat with your doctor about what will benefit you.

Avoid touching your mouth and nose. When we play out in the wilderness we can have pollen get on our hands and faces This can invite many of the unwanted iratents right into our eyes or nose. Not so much fun when you get a sneezing fit.

If you are not already wearing a mask with the pandemic you can try using one with a carbon filter.

Foods that can trigger seasonal allergies. This can be called a cross reaction, it doesn’t happen to everyone but be noted that environmental and seasonal allergies can be triggered by what we eat. Many foods have similar genetic properties as things like trees, grasses, dust and pollens.

I hope you are able to reduce your symptoms this year. If you have any tips to share about how you combated allergies I look forward to reading them.

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