Surviving Itchy & Scratchy Season

ALLER_sneeze2I have allergies all year long but it gets exponentially worse in the spring when all the flowers decide they want my face to explode and decide to bloom. I can look forward to several months of a runny, stuffy nose along with the occasional swollen eyes, hives and never ending sneezing fits.

But things got a little better a few years back when I found an allergist that did more than recommend years of allergy shots that cost thousands and may not even work. It’s hard to get an appointment with her but I’m going to share a few of her secrets.

She’s so good, I call her my allergy whisperer. Frankly, if you Googled something like “I want to rip off my nose and set my sinuses on fire” to get here, you should really talk to your doctor.

But not all doctors can be called the “allergy whisperer” and many overlook some pretty easy (non-prescription) solutions that changed my life especially during those awful spring months.

My main allergies are pollen, grass, dust mites and ragweed and here’s what works for me:

ALLER_hepa1. HEPA Air Filter
The whisperer tells me these things have to be loud to work. I got mine at Canadian Tire for $99 and it works magic for my whole room. You can also get it online from Home Depot. Just leave it on all day and night, change the pre-filter every three months and be amazed at the amount of dust it traps.

2. Dust mite proof pillow cases
Buy the ones that feel more like paper than plastic — they don’t get as hot. I get the AllerEase ones at Walmart. Wash in hot water once a week along with your sheets. They’re also easy to pack for trips.

ALLER_neti3. Neti Pot
I neti pot twice a day, every day. Lots of people tell me that neti pots are for crazy hippies and rinsing out my sinuses is disgusting. But it’s way grosser to be blowing your nose thirty times over a dinner date. Plus what I legally put up my nose is my prerogative.

4. Take Reactine at night
Apparently, allergies get worse at night. I take a Reactine before I go to bed and I’m usually good until the next night. There’s no point in waiting until you feel like death to pop a pill — you’ll be suffering until long after.

Oh and I have an arsenal of prescription meds I take when things get bad. But preventing it from getting that bad has helped a lot.

Good luck my little snifflers.

Artistic dandelion photos make me feel itchy.

Artistic dandelion photos make me feel itchy just looking at them.

Photo credit: myfotolog.tumblr.com

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