Seasonal allergies are among us folks and plaguing a good part of the country. I happen to live in an area where there are about as many pollen spores as oxygen molecules in the air. Lucky me. I’ve considered whether bedazzling a surgical mask or persuading RayBan to produce their version of aviator swim goggles might make for an easier season. But until that happens I’ve devised quite the little system to keep my eyes and nose from throwing in the towel and moving out of the state.
1) Get thee to an allergist.
Your regular ol’ MD knows some tips and tricks but the specialists have a more, well, specialized wealth of knowledge they pull from. I have a routine of meds that are working. And one day in the near future I may give Immunotherapy Shots another try. Because I love the idea of potentially inflicting myself with anaphylaxis.
2) Start your meds regimen before your allergy season begins.
Get your body ready for the attack. Preemptive strike. Stock up on your ammo. Get your arsenal ready. You know. Add your favorite cliche here.
3) Get some good eye drops.
I use a prescription eye drop but have also found that the antihistamine Zaditor (ketotifen fumarate) does wonders as well! I apply one drop to each eye about ten minutes before I pop in my contacts and have really been impressed with how well it works. The product claims to provide relief for 12 hours after application and I’d say that’s somewhat true. One of the main keys to long-lasting relief is to have clean, rinsed out eyes before you apply the solution and to keep yo’ fingers out yo’ eyes!
4) NASAL RINSE.
I know, I know. Who wants to shoot water up your nose while you hope and pray it actually comes out the other side? This girl. I became a convert a few years back at the urging of my allergist. One of my main symptoms of seasonal allergies is an extremely itchy nose. My doc swore up and down regular use of the sinus rinse bottle would help alleviate the constant and persistent need to stick my fingers up my nose like a first-grader golddigger. I reluctantly agreed to give it a whirl, picked up a NeilMed Sinus Rinse kit and prayed to God I would survive it. I’ve been happily repulsing my husband twice a day during the months of April, May and June ever since.
5) A whole body rinse.
A shower before bed can do wonders for helping you wake up feeling less stuffy and sounding like Fran Drescher. Any foray outside would attract the ba-gillions of little pollen soldiers bent on an attack and a quick rinse will send those little buggers down the drain. It helps!
A word about Nasal Rinsing:
It is imperative that you use clean, filtered water when rinsing your nasal passages. NeilMed recommends distilled, micro-filtered, commercially bottled or previously boiled and cooled down water. The reason? You don’t want to allow any creepy buggies to float around in your head. There have been nightmare-inducing news articles about sinus rinses gone wrong due to unfiltered water. Don’t risk it and pick up the clean stuff. I prefer distilled water and get mine for .88 cents a gallon at my local store.
NeilMed sells “docking” stations for drying and storing the nasal rinse bottles. A great solution for one or two bottles but I have up to four drying at any given time and have found a pretty easy system to store them. A baby bottle drying rack. Awwwww. Makes my uterus quiver a little every time I use it but it’s about perfect for drying the NeilMed bottles.
I hope this information helps you survive your allergy season. Allergies are certainly a pain in the nose but with a little diligence, research and bravery (try that sinus rinse!) life can go on.