Spring is here, flowers are blooming, grass is growing, and noses are running! I live in Georgia and spring my favorite season with lush blooming trees and daffodils and irises popping up everywhere. It’s also the time when Georgia pines are blooming and leaving a disgusting thick yellow pollen on everything for weeks! Southerners are walking around like zombies with red watery eyes and drippy noses. No one is safe from seasonal allergies here. Even the dogs are sneezey!
I have horrible seasonal allergies, and what’s worse is that my allergies have four seasons – spring, summer, fall, and winter. I am pretty much allergic to everything that grows and dies – pollen, mold, mildew, dust . You know, everything that air is made from. I get horrendous sinus headaches, pressure, tooth aches, blurry vision, runny or congested nose, watery eyes, and extreme facial pain. I’ve suffered from chronic sinus infections for as long as I can remember and it’s the pits. Especially since I’m such an outdoor person.
For years I took over-the-counter sinus medications. I used to buy sinus medication in bulk from Sam’s Club, I’m pretty sure that I’m on some sort of meth watch list now. However, I realized that taking these medications long term can be terrible for your kidneys and liver, plus I don’t like how I feel when I take them. I’m sure you’ve suffered from allergy medicine head, and sometimes it makes the cure worse than the disease.
Now I combat my seasonal allergies naturally and I’m happy to report that the three to four horrible sinus infections I used to get a year (I could almost set a clock to them), have subsided. I maybe get one a year, if that. I still suffer from daily allergies, but they are considerably better than they used to be.
Here are my tricks to combating seasonal allergies naturally:
Neil Med Sinus Rinse
This is a life saver! Several years ago I was suffering from one of the worst sinus infections I had ever had, and I don’t believe in taking antibiotics, but I was seriously considering taking them. A co-worker of mine convinced me to try nettie potting. Honestly, I find a nettie pot to be a real pain to use. But this little beauty makes it much easier.
Whenever I recommend a sinus rinse, people look at me horrified. “You want me to put what up my nose??” It’s really not that bad. It’s a water and saline solution that you can use as much as you need. The sensation is that of gently going under water, like when you get into a warm pool. It’s not unpleasant at all. Plus, I almost immediately get relief! If you’re really clogged up, try using this in a hot shower – you’ll be cleared out in no time.
Zicam Intense Sinus Relief
I discovered this sinus spray a couple years ago, and I LOVE IT! It’s completely homeopathic and has soothing aloe to help repair mucus membranes in your nose. Plus it doesn’t burn like most sinus sprays. I love this so much, I actually buy it in bulk from Amazon. I have one in my purse and pretty much every room in the house. It really helps unclog me and lessen my headache symptoms immediately.
Local honey and bee pollen have just that – local pollen. This may seem counter productive to seasonal allergies, but actually it helps you build up immunity to local histamines. Some grocery stores sell local honey, but I recommend going to a farmer’s market to find a local honey producer. Sprinkle a little bee pollen on your yogurt or put a spoonful in your morning smoothie. Honey is also a natural antibiotic and will help you combat any infections that you may be developing.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Yes, we all know that ACV is a miracle worker, but it can be hard to choke down. I like to make a tea with it, 1 Tbsp in a cup of hot water with some of that local honey and a slice of lemon. It’s definitely more palatable than just taking a shot of it. Lately, I’ve been experimenting with ACV capsules, and they work really well! The ACV helps build up your immunity to histamines and it has all sorts of good probiotics that are generally good for your body.
If you want to get real serious about your seasonal allergies, an air purifier is the way to go! Because I’m also allergic to mold, mildew, and dust, I have to have air purifiers in my home. Even the cleanest of homes have allergens in the air. These really make a huge difference in my daily life. It’s nice to wake up and be able to breathe freely. They are an investment, but I find them to be worth every penny!
I cannot stress enough how changing out your HVAC air filters regularly will help with seasonal allergies. We buy the heavy duty allergen filters, but we always forget to change them. Usually by the time I remember, our filter is a glorified dust ball. But we recently started subscribing to Filter Easy – and it’s soooo amazing. In fact we got our filter delivery the other day, and my boyfriend (who was mildly skeptical before) was plesantly surprised. Now we change out our filter every 2 months, and I never have to remember. Filter Easy does that for me! It’s also no more expensive than buying filters at the store.
Because my sinuses will swell, it can feel like I was on the losing end of a fist fight. My cheekbones, jaw, neck, and shoulder will ache from the swelling. I find using a cold compress helps bring down the swelling and pain without having to take a pain reliever. These fun ice masks are my favorite!
I hope you enjoy spring without allergies this year, or at least lessened symptoms. How do you combat your seasonal allergies?
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