I have severe allergies, especially to ragweed. I am allergic to everything, but food. Most of the year, I live a normal life, but when ragweed comes around my life drastically changes. I do all of these things during ragweed season, because I have to. Some of these may seem a little extreme, but that depends on how bad your allergies are. If yours are mild to moderate, all of this would not be necessary, but incorporating a few could make a big difference in how you feel.
- Netti Pot - This is awkward to use at first, but really helps with nasal allergy symptoms. You can find these at your local drugstore or pharmacy. Just empty the saliene packet into the pot, and fill with warm water. Hold the pot up to your nostril, bending forward and tilting your head to the side. Breathe through your nose, the entire time. Those who don't end up feeling like they are drowning. The solution will drain out the other nostril, getting rid of mucus, allergens, and other debris. This really helps with clearing the nasal passages, and relieving sinus headaches. I like to do this at the end of my day.
- Eye Wash - I do this every evening and sometimes in the mornings. You can find this at your local drugstore. It comes with a cup and solution. It is easy to use, and feels quite soothing. You just fill the cup up to the line with the solution, hold it up to your eye, and tip your head back. Look up, down, and side to side to cleanse. I always follow up with allergy eye drops.
- Essential Oils - I have really gotten into essential oils lately. I tried them for the first time over winter. I was sick for four months, went to two doctors three times, was diagnosed with sinusitis and an upper respiratory infection, on 3 different antibiotics, and nothing was making me better. I would feel better for a few days only to get worse again. I was told that if the last antibiotic didn't work, I would have to see a specialist. Needless to say, the last antibiotic was as successful as the previous two. I was sick of being sick and did not want to see another doctor. So, I took matters in my own hands. I used my netti pot twice a day and a blend of essential oils from Doterra called breathe. I used breathe in my diffuser only. To my surprise, I was finally cured. It took a few days, and I was feeling better, and haven't had a virus since. If you would have told me that these things would have healed me when 3 antibiotics couldn't, I would have said that you were a nut bag!! I am always a skeptic, but now I am a believer. I started using essential oils again with my allergies. I diffuse them in my diffuser and use them in a carrier oil (I like olive oil) to apply topically. I have made up an allergy blend that consists of peppermint, lemon, and lavender. I have also made a roller ball of this blend to keep in my purse when I am on the go. I use a variety of essential oils every single day for different reasons. They are helping me so much. I could go on and on. Do a little research online, and check out some books from your local library. I have learned so much, and love using all natural products instead of over the counter and prescription drugs. If you would like to learn more about what essential oils I use, and how I use them, Click Here!
- Wear Large Sunglasses - Wearing sunglasses really helps keep pollen from getting in your eyes. I have severe eye allergies where my eyes and face will get very red and swollen. I have had my eyes swell shut on many occasions. It is very itchy and very painful. Once I swell, it is hard to get back to normal, so I wear the biggest sunglasses I have. It also helps if they wrap around the sides of the eyes.
- Saline Nasal Spray - I don't use this a lot, but it is good to have on hand to use away from home or if you don't have a netti pot to flush out your nasal cavity.
- Local Honey - People have used local honey for years to aid in allergy relief. The idea is that if you consume honey from your local area, it will have some pollens that are indigenous to your region, that over time in small doses will help you to develop an immunity to those pollens. Pretty much how allergy shots work. I take honey everyday. I put it in my tea or yogurt. Sometimes I just drink it straight from the bottle. I love the taste!
- Apple Cider Vinegar - ACV offers a variety of health benefits, but did you know that it also helps with seasonal allergies? ACV is a natural antihistamine. People who suffer from allergies have very sensitive immune systems that overreact to pollen and other allergens. Their bodies release histamines to defend against the harmless, yet foreign substance, which causes the body to bring on the typical symptoms associated with allergies. Antihistamines helps to stop the release of histamines, that bring on the nasty symptoms. I drink ACV daily, by diluting it in a glass of water. I usually do 2 tablespoons or so.
- Hygiene - If you have spent time outdoors, take off your clothes immediately when returning home, and wash them or put them in a clothes bag. Take your shoes off outdoors, or keep them contained somewhere in the home. Wash your body and hair as soon as possible. Pollen collects on our clothes, hair, and skin, so being diligent in these areas will remove them quickly, and keep them out of your home or at least contained.
Also ask family member to at least remove their clothing and shoes as quickly as possible when arriving home. Sitting on furniture with pollen filled clothing will contaminate the home. If you have a dust allergy, you are probably use to dusting and sweeping a lot, but be extra diligent about it during that times that you are also fighting seasonal allergies. I try to do my home twice a week, and mop at least once a week. It is beneficial to wear a mask over you nose and mouth while doing this type of cleaning.
Another thing to consider is our pets. The longer they are outside, the more pollen they are collecting on their fur and bringing into the home.
- HEPA Filter and Room Air Purifiers - I use both during the worst times of the year. Have a quality furnace filter that you can out regularly will help keep your home cleaner from allergens. I also have an air purifier in my living room and bedroom. I turn them on high when I leave the room or home for extra cleaning power.
- Do Not Open Windows - This goes for the car and your home.
- Limit Your Time Outdoors - I go out as little as possible, but it's not like I can stay indoors for several months of ragweed season. So, I park as close to stores as possible, and if I am with someone else, I have them drop me off at the door and pick me up. I cannot attend any activities or functions that are outdoors.
- Take A Probiotic - The verdict is out on probiotics on allergies. There are studies that show probiotics show a decrease seasonal allergy symptoms, and other that show no change. The theory is that because we live in cleaner environments than ever before, and everyone is always dousing themselves in antibacterial soaps, hand lotions, etc., our bodies have weaker immune systems, because we haven't been exposed to as many germs. Being exposed helps build our immune systems and make them strong. 90% of our immune system is in our intestines. Probiotics increases the amount of good bacteria in our intestines making them better equipped to deal with foreign bodies and viruses. I take a probiotic every day along with my multivitamin and other supplements. I also eat Activia yogurt most days of the week, because it also has live cultures to help the intestines/immune system.
- Vitamin D - There are studies that have found that children with seasonal allergies are 20 times more likely to be vitamin D deficient than those who have no seasonal allergies. Vitamin D was shown to decrease allergy symptoms across the board. They studied even further finding that those who took 600 IU's of vitamin D3 showed improvement in hives associated with allergies, but those who took 4000 IU's of D3 showed a 40% improvement.