Seasonal allergies are not so seasonal anymore. These days they seem to last all year long. For example, we are almost at the end of September and the mold count in my city remains as high as it was in the thick of Summer. It is unbearable. All over my social feeds I see people complaining that their noses are closed up. I’ve seen updates from friends likening the pain that they are experiencing in their heads to feeling like they are trapped in a vice. I see people at my concerts yawning repeatedly, not out of boredom, but in a desperate attempt to unplug their ears. I know I have suffered from what feels like battery acid dripping down the back of my throat. My ears are itching, and I have a nagging cough that keeps me awake. Sounds like a cold doesn’t it? It isn’t, it’s just symptoms of my allergies. However, if we don’t tend to these symptoms they could evolve into sinusitis, bronchitis, or even pneumonia. That is why I have had to come up with a seasonal allergies action plan to combat the onslaught of allergens and allergy symptoms that threaten my quality of life on a near daily basis. I’m not a doctor. I don’t even play one on TV. I am just a working mom who’s livelihood is dependent upon her voice, and who doesn’t get paid sick days no matter how bad she is feeling. I can’t afford to let seasonal allergies get the best of me so I have 16 remedies that I rely on to keep my breath flowing. I use the same tricks on my kids too which helps keep them in school instead of out. Hey, seasonal allergies or not, we all have a job to do, and it’s so much easier to do it if we can breathe!
Note: these are tips that have worked for me and my family, and are not intended to be medical advice. Always consult your doctor before trying any new treatment.
16 Remedies for Seasonal Allergies 1 of 16
Allergy Pill 2 of 16
The first place to start is with an over the counter allergy pill. My children and I take one in the morning like clockwork. Okay I am like clockwork they need a little rewinding every now and then. It's important to take it consistently because it needs to build up in your system to be most effective. At least that's what my doctor told me. Check with your own.
Guaifenesin 3 of 16
You may have see those commercials with animated mucus that moves into your nose like a renter. That's the trademark advertising of Mucinex. Mucinex is just Guaifenesin, an expectorant. It thins out your mucus so it will flow like a river instead of pile up like a chunky mud puddle. This is the product I wish I had known about years and years ago. It would have saved me a lot of trouble. I take it at night to keep my sinuses grooving along even when I am laying flat. But that's just my action plan. You have to determine what fits your life.
Shower 4 of 16
When I am sleeping is when I am most at risk for sinus build up which is why I tend to shower before I goto bed. That way I can rid my body of a days worth of allergens and not transfer them to my pillow where I would be breathing them in all night long. I can always tell when I have skipped a night shower because I wake up with a slightly puffier face and an infinitely more clogged nose.
Pillow Protectors 5 of 16
Shower or not it is incredibly beneficial in my opinion to have pillow protectors on your bed pillows. They are a great extra layer of allergen protection, and they are a lot easier to wash than your pillows.
Fresh Air 6 of 16
Fresh air can be your foe during the day, but at night in particular it can be very invigorating. I find I sleep better and wake up with clearer nasal passages if my window is open, even just a crack. But when I wake up, especially if the mold count is high for the day, I close them back up and let my air filters do the job they were intended to do.
Hydrate 7 of 16
Water is your best friend, especially when it comes to seasonal allergies. Just as you use a shower to wash off the allergens of the day on your outside, so too can you use water to help flush away toxins from your insides. If ever I am feeling under allergen attack I increase my water intake to try and drown it all away. HYDRATE!
Clean 8 of 16
When was the last time you cleaned your vents? How about changing your filter on your furnace? Dusting your ceiling fan? you get the idea. If you don't want to have allergies, try not to surround yourself with allergens if you can help it. Oh, and be sure to wear a mask before you start to clean otherwise you will end up aspirating the very thing you are trying to avoid.
Sinus Wash 9 of 16
For years my fellow singers told me that if I had allergies I should get a neti pot. As uncomfortable as I was I couldn't bear the neti pot. The draining down the back of my throat was worse than the mucus it was supposed to eliminate. But all of that changed when I got a Waterpick SinuSense sinus washer. This contraption is quick, easy and far less painful than a neti pot in every sense. BUt that is just my humble opinion. Try it for yourself.
Homeopathy 10 of 16
I am a big fan of homeopathy, but I don't have the patience or the time to do homemade remedies. That is why I am a big fan of Boiron products like Sinusalia. I can keep them in my boo boo bag ready at hand, but I don't have to worry about "drug" build up. It takes a load off of my mind that is already pained with a sinus headache.
Massager 11 of 16
People tease me when I say, "I'm off to vibrate my face." I don't mind. Let them say what they want, just don't anyone try and take away my massage wand. There are days when my sinuses get so clogged, and my headache is so bad, that the only way I can get any movement at all in my sinus cavities is through vibration. It doesn't take long for a huge sneeze to erupt when I place the wand on my nose. My favorite place to use it is down from my ear on my neck, essentially my eustachian tube. I can actually feel the drain begin to drip down the back of my throat. It may be gross, but when I have a sinus attack I would rather deal with gross than with pain.
Vapers 12 of 16
I love the smell of vaporub mainly because I associate it with relief. When your nose is blocked and you can't get enough oxygen, anything that will give you an extra bit of breath is a blessing. Vaporub has rescued me many a sinus clogged night, saving my throat from any destructive mouth breathing when I'm sleeping.
Steam 13 of 16
If vaporub is a bandaid, steam inhalers are a stitches plus plastic surgery to prevent a scar. I love my inhaler because it not only helps to reduce the inflammation in my nasal passages it also make my coughs more productive helping me to expel the nasty mucus that tends to take up residence in my spacious lungs.
Gargle 14 of 16
I have mentioned more times than I am guessing you have liked about the pseudo "battery acid" that tends to drip down the back of my throat thanks to seasonal allergies. It is important to pay attention to post nasal drip because it can get very toxic and open up the door to bronchitis and other more disturbing illnesses. That's why the first sign of a drip I start a gargling regimen with my tea tree oil mouth rinse. It's like an astringent for my throat, helping to kill off nasty bacteria. At least that's been my experience. What's yours?
Dry It Up 15 of 16
I've talked a lot about what I do to get things moving in my sinuses when seasonal allergies have them clogged. But if after a concerted effort using the guaifenesin route, thinning for flow, I don't see results, then I switch gears and move into drying mode. I start taking cayenne pepper supplements twice a day with an ocean full of water. It is my last resort before I know that an infection has taken route.
Prescription 16 of 16
If like me, you suffer consistently from seasonal allergies I recommend talking to your doctor about a prescription for Flonase. I have found that most practitioners are in agreement that use of the nasal spray immensely reduces the symptoms stemming from seasonal allergies. I use it two sprays per nostril right before bed. I won't go to sleep without it. Or should I say I can't goto sleep without it. And sleep is too precious to miss.
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