Spring brings us warmer weather and longer days while the fall brings the changing of leaves and crisp air. Whether you’re getting ready for your outdoor track season or are going to watch a football game, you’re bound to be outside bustling around from dusk til dawn. And while you may be welcoming the warmer and longer days from a long dull winter, the spring is can be a time of discomfort and annoyance for people with seasonal allergies. As the season changes from winter to spring, thousands of little tufts of pollen begin to float around through the sky with such beauty, until you are rendered immobilized by a sneezing attack. First sneeze. Second sneeze. Third sneeze. Fourth sneeze. Minutes later, when you finally regain your composure, your nose is now stuffy and eyes itchy and watery in no time all set upon by small white pollen.
So to those who suffer from seasonal allergies spring and fall can be a beacon of doom and congestion, so much of a nuisance that those afflicted are forced to confinement inside potentially hot and muggy homes. But fret no longer my fellow congested friends, for there are some natural ways in which you can help quell or prevent the extremity of your allergies. Thankfully the ways listed in this article are some viable alternatives to over the counter medicine which is beneficial if you personally don’t agree with medicine or if you just ran out of Mucinex.
While this ceramic pot may seem exotic with the same curvatures you may expect a genie in a lamp to have, Neti pots are becoming far more mainstream and are seeing far more use. The purpose of this decorative pot is quite simple. Alleviate stuffy noses by loosening mucus and by cleaning out your nostrils thus forth eliminating strains of allergens (such as pollen) that may be residing in your nose.
Using the Neti pot is quite an easy task. First fill the pot with a mixture of salt and warm water. You can either make your own mixture or purchase a pre measured mixture. Next tilt your head to one side and pour the salted solution into one nostril until it flows out into the other nostril then alternate sides. Repeat this process until you are content. Be sure to use boiled or distilled water and NOT tap water as the tap water can introduce potentially dangerous organisms into your body.
You can purchase one of the nasal irrigators from local stores such as Target or online from Amazon. The price does vary but tends to converge towards the $10 mark making it an affordable solution to congested nostrils come spring time.
Who doesn’t love a nice long hot shower. While you may be thinking “Why would I take a hot shower in the spring”, hot showers can also alleviate congested nostrils without having to purchase any other instrument like the Neti pot: making allergy relief far more accessible throughout the day and throughout spring. The steam that arises from a hot shower miraculously opens your nasal passage offering relief even if it may be temporary.
Another benefit that showers offer to help repel and quell seasonal allergies is the cleanliness that comes with taking a shower. Let’s say you were outside throwing a ball around or what have you and you have dirt smeared up and down your legs. Naturally, you’d go and take a shower to wipe of the dirt and grime. Not only are you cleaning the dirt off your body, but you are also cleaning off any allergens from your skin and hair thus preventing the allergens from spreading throughout your clothes and house.
Getting hot and steamy
While the shower does offer steam that clears your nasal passage, it is fairly understandable to have no desire to constantly shower to clear your nose. So skip the full body shower and generate up some steam to inhale. Inhaling steam can clear the nasal passage and moisten dry nasal cavities just as well as a nice hot shower.
The easiest method is to just grab a bowl from the cabinet, boil up some water and pour it on in. Grab a small towel to drape over your head to create a tent for the steam to stay in, kind of like a sauna for your head. However, be wary not to put your face too close to the water as you may scald your skin and face burns if your face actually touches the water. If you’re someone who finds themselves with a congested nose quite often in the spring time, this method is far more appealing, reasonable, and accessible than taking a shower every hour.
Warm water and relaxation
Congested noses are one of the most common discomforts brought upon from springtime allergies, but is not the only one that people struggle with. Many people including myself suffer from itchy eyes. And if you fall to the urge to rub your eyes for some relief to the sometimes unbearable itch that persists in your eyes, you are rubbing allergens that may be on your hand directly onto or around your eyes: this only makes the itching sensation worse. So how do you stop this annoyance brought forth from springtime allergies: a warm washcloth and some relaxation.
Much like how the steam helped open your nasal passage, the warmth of the wet washcloth on your closed eyelids helps quell the itching sensation. Not only does it offer relief, but it is readily available to just about everyone who is sitting at home on a spring day where the pollen count is exceedingly large. Just fill up a bowl with some boiled or distilled water (to prevent dangerous organisms that can be found in tap water), soak the washcloth, and place upon your shut eyes and turn on some tunes and relax. The warmth of the water helps quell the itching sensation as well as the distraction of music shifts your focus to the sound rather than the itchy feeling.
This method is more based upon personal preference and differs from person to person. Eating spicy foods such as chili peppers, wasabi, and fresh garlic can kickstart the water works and cause your eyes to tear up and open your nasal passage. While there isn’t any substantial evidence regarding this method of relief, it may still be worth trying if you’re desperate for relief.
Friendly tips and reminders
When you’re outside during the season that provokes your allergies, you want to play it safe. I don’t mean hiding out in your house to prevent the allergens that lurk about in our world, but rather just some simple common sense. Periodically wash your hands whenever your can. By cleaning your hands with either soap and water or hand sanitizer, you eliminate any allergens that are on your hands thus preventing the spread of allergens throughout your home. And that way if you for some reason must rub your eye, you aren’t adding more allergens to the existing problem.
When using the steam methods, be sure to be safe around the water. This may seem like drivel told to children but accidents can happen and you want to insure your safety. Nothings worse than having a congested nose and 1st or 2nd degree burns across your back or face.
Next time spring or fall rolls around, you allergy prone individuals need not worry about the symptoms you would normally have to endure through as you now have a handful of simple alternatives that can be done at home. With a solution to the major symptoms of seasonal allergies revealed, you can now go through and live your life and enjoy the weather with friends, family, and loved ones.