I considered myself an allergy suffer for life. Allergy season for me started in April when the grass started growing and trees started blooming and lasted until the first hard frost in October. I was miserable every year from April to October. I tried every new allergy medicine that came out and even tried allergy shots for a period of 5 years. Nothing really helped me. My children also suffered from seasonal allergies. However, as a mom, I never felt good about loading my child up with a lot of allergy medicine. The medications may take the edge off the symptoms, but they can leave a child feeling groggy and tired. On top of that, the newer allergy medicines are so new that we do not know if there will be long-term side effects from extended use.
The running noses and itchy eyes became an endless source of complaints in our house. We were going through tissues at an amazing rate. Pockets in jeans, shorts, sweatshirts, and jackets were stuffed full of a mix of clean and dirty tissues. If I was not extremely careful doing laundry, I'd end up with a washing machine or drier filled with bits of tissues stuck on all of the clothes. Something needed to change. That's when I started looking at natural remedies for our seasonal allergies.
Saline Nasal Flushes
For years, I noticed that swimming in the ocean always helped my allergies. A little bit of salt water would get in my nose, I'd sneeze a few times, and then felt wonderful. The saline nasal flush works the same way. These flushes have become very popular over the past few years, however, they are actually an ancient Hindu practice of Ayurveda medicine. The idea behind the flush is to remove the mucus in the nasal cavity and moisturize the mucous membrane. The rinse can be performed with the aid of a neti pot or squeeze bottle. I find the squeeze bottle much easier to use since you can keep your head upright. The neti pot is a little more difficult to use since it requires you to hold your head at a certain angle to avoid getting a lot of liquid down your throat. Some people prefer to use a saline nasal spray, but I find that a lot less effective.
Years ago I heard that acupuncture could really help your allergies. When people heard that my three children and I were getting acupuncture treatment for allergies, they all thought it was a crazy idea. Most people admitted that they would be afraid of the needles (the needles are thinner than a piece of hair and do not hurt!), But they could not understand how a bunch of needles could help this condition. The idea is simple and has been part of Chinese medicine for thousands of years. The acupuncture needles help to rebalance your body and improvements your immune system. For the best results for seasonal allergies, a series of acupuncture treatments should be performed before the start of your allergy season. However, relief can still be gained during your peak allergy period. I had 6-8 treatments each year for about 3 years and credit acupuncture with essentially curing my seasonal allergies.
Change Your Environment
Sometimes changing your environment for a day can provide you with an intense relief. If you are outside, try going inside, shower off the pollen, and keep the windows closed and the air conditioner on. Take a day trip. You may be allergic to the specific species of trees and grasses at your home. That can be a nightmare on peak pollen days. Spend the day or plan a vacation in the woods, at the beach or at some other location where the types of trees and grasses may be different. When you have a bad allergy day, try going online to find out what type of pollens and allergens are bad that day (trees, grass, ragweed, molds). When you know what you are allergic to it makes it easier to avoid it in the future.
Watch The Foods You Are Eating
Many people are not aware that the food you are eating can aggravate your allergies. When your body's immune system is already weak due to exposure to various pollens and other allergens, food intolerances can make your allergies worse. Common triggers include nuts, wheat, dairy, celery, melons, bananas, and several more. The types of food and amount of reactions vary for everyone. The best course of action is to pay attention to the foods you are eating and try to be aware of any adverse reactions or worsening of your symptoms. Then try to avoid those foods when your allergies are bad.
Can These Tricks Help You?
Everyone reacts differently to seasonal allergies and remedies. I suffered with allergies for more than 40 years and found that traditional prescription and over the counter medicine never really cured my allergies. At best, they made the day bearable, until the medicine was off and I needed another dose. I can happily say that I no longer suffer with daily seasonal allergies. Personally, I saw the largest benefit from acupuncture treatment. I sometimes get a runny nose and itchy eyes on days when grass and tree pollens are extremely high. However, after a quick nasal rinse, I feel great. The next time your allergies are bothering you, think about trying one or more of these tools. Hopefully, one day you can tell your friends that you used to suffer from seasonal allergies, but not anymore.