Salt Water in the Nose

Ah, summer the time of year when the sun is out and the pollen from flowers and trees carpet the earth, turning it into a living nightmare. For some people this yellow nightmare powder is a symbol of rebirth, for me, it is a symbol of a clogged nose, hacking cough and of course swollen eyes.

Now as someone who deals with allergies every single year, I have a few solutions. First don’t go outside. The outside world is dead to you now. Leaving your home means entering a world where chemical warfare is not only actively occurring, but BEES are the ones spreading it.

Now if you absolutely must go outside make sure to have one of the medical masks with you to help filter out the air from the poison that wants to stuff up your nose.

This should reduce your chances of exposer but should the case arise that you are still taken ill by the nasty, nasty air there is a solution for you.

A Nettie Pot, or if you’re like me and don’t really like holding a teapot next to your nose a Nettie sinus rinse. Now I am sure your thinking, a pot? What am I going to do with a pot/odd looking squeeze bottle? The answer is simple really, shove it up your nose, or more specifically your sinuses.

Well, it’s really not that simple, there are a few steps you have to take before you can take your sinuses on a wet and wild ride. First things first you have to get the water to the perfect temperature. If it is too cold it will feel like you are inhaling an ocean into your nose. If it is too hot it will feel like you are snorting a cup of lava. Either way, it is incredibly important that you are prepared to make mistakes in the temperature department.

Once you have the temperature to what you approximate will hurt the least you add in the special salt mix. This special mix of salts makes it so all of the gunk in your sinus gets turned into a soft goo that can be flushed right out of your head. I can not stress how important it is that you fully mix in the salt mixture, if you do not mix it in fully you can end up in some serious pain.

As a veteran of this method, I can confirm that once you get the salt into the water the most important part is yet to come. Actually putting the saltwater mixture up your nose. The key to this is to make sure you are exhaling at the same time you either pour or squirt. If you are not exhaling you will just end up feeling like you are drowning and the whole process has to start over.

If done successfully you will end up with a freshly cleaned sinus, and be able to return to life as normal, just don’t forget that if you inhale more pollen you are back to square one.



The Truth About Your Allergy Quick Fixes

We’ve talked about sinus rinses, over-the-counter medications, essential oils, and all sorts of other pillars of false hope when comes to an allergy solution.  Even now, having tried all of these things, I sit with a dripping nose, watery and makeup smeared eyes, and a box of tissues typing this article.  Usually when you read these types of articles you are looking for a long-term solution.  I am here to tell you that when it comes to allergies, there is no long-term solution, only short term half-solutions.

Just running through the solutions we have talked about in previous articles, you could try essential oils but you’ll have to be willing to pop some peppermint drops every 20 minutes for any relief.  On the bright side your breath will smell fantastic so all you’ll have to worry about when it comes to interactions with the opposite gender is the snot draining out of your sinuses.  Over the counter medications will tell you 24 hour relief, but you’d better only expect about a 6th of that before the itches and the sniffles return.  Sinus rinses will hold you over until you get back into the great outdoors and breath in another nose full of pollen.

Unfortunately, I am also here to tell you that local honey is another of those temporary fixes and even then it can be rather complicated.  You see, because there are multiple types of pathogens in the air, you’ll need multiple different types of honey.  For example, simple clove honey will not do you’ll also need wildflower honey and alfalfa honey.  Once you have your assortment of honeys take a tablespoon of each one every hour and you might be allergy symptom free during most of the day.  Of course if you keep this up over the whole allergy season you’ll be looking at a good deal of extra sugar and probably some significant weight gain.

All satire and sarcasm aside, the only plausible real long term solution to allergies involves a significant change to your diet.  Research suggests that eating a healthy, balanced, low sugar diet and eliminating gluten and dairy can have a positive effect on eliminating allergy symptoms over time.  For many people, this is probably a very disappointing solution.  It won’t work immediately or even over night, it will take a lot of work and discipline, and you’ll have to miss out on some of the most delicious foods ever made!  But hey it’s worth it to escape those allergy symptoms right?  So if you really want those allergies to be gone, buckle down and get to work on fixing your diet.  You’ll have more energy, you’ll finally get that summer bod you’ve always wanted (maybe), you’ll just feel better about yourself in general, and best of all no more sniffles and itches for 4 months of the year.

Check out Dr. Romm’s experience of getting rid of her allergies for good with her own dietary changes!

Essential Oils

Ahh, essential oils…

Essentially, they’re about the most potent “theraputic” substance that you can anoint yourself with. In allergy season, people claim that they’re life savers. People say that peppermint, eucalyptus, melaluca, lemon, lavender, and a small army of other cold distilled smelly things clear up sinuses, releive sore throats, and almost anything but give you eternal youth. (But I wouldn’t put it past them)

Now, as someone whose used essential oils and suffered through allergy season clinging to any cure I can find, I’m not against essential oils, but they’re just so…strong.

One thing that you can try, and I’ve done this too, it put peppermint oil directly on my sinuses. Holy minty-freshness Batman! So, the sniffles went away for a bit, but in exchange I got 45 minutes of watery blinky eyes as the oils seeped down my forehead into my eyes. So, if you try this, don’t plan on reading anything or making a serious conversation with anyone because people will be so worried that you’re ok they’ll keep asking you. And of course, because you’re a good person and you don’t want to explain your failed experiment you’ll just grin and bare it and say “I’m fine” through the minty tears welling up behind your eyelids.

Now, if you’re not daring enough to try peppermint, you can always try eucalyptus oil which I’ve found to be less potent than peppermint. You can rub it on your neck with lemon oil which is supposed to help your allergies, but it usually just makes me feel like I rubbed koala colonge all over myself.

Melaluca or tea tree oil has been touted as a miracle oil. It’s a disinfectant! It’s helps sore throats! It cleans the air! All of it availible to you in a 15mL bottle from DoTerra for just $25! You can even use it to help your sore throat by dropping some of this ambrosia on a q-tip and holding it to the back of your tongue. (Side effects include a nasty taste in your mouth, triggered gag reflex, and possibly vomiting from over exposure…not that I know from experience or anything…)

If you don’t like rubbing oil all over your face, and then repeating the same process twenty minutes to an hour later after the oils wear off, you could always carry a bottle of this precious oil and sniff it throughout the day. That should do the trick right? Well, yes, but then you also have to deal with people giving you the sideways glances as they judge you for periodically sniffing a small bottle. Then, when they finally work up enough courage to ask you what you’re using, you’ll have to go through the questions every essential oil user goes through.

You know…

“Oh, that smells good, what’s in that?”

“How much was this?”

“What do you do with that?”

And last, but certainly not least:

“Do those really work?”

You could also put the oil on a sniffer–a small wick you can soak with whatever oil you like, encased in a plastic case. But, then you have to go through pretty much the same process eventually.

Same for applying oils, except everyone will be able to smell it. But hey, at least you smell good! You’ll just see people start to sniff as you walk in the room and turn in their seats trying to find the source of your aromatherapy.

I reccomend if you actually want to try essential oils after this sarcastic post, read the directions, don’t do anything stupid, don’t expect miracles, and prepare yourself to become the center of conversation as you brand yourself as an essential oil user.

Let’s Get Medicated

So you have come to the conclusion that you do, in fact, suffer from allergies. You’re just like everyone else. Even if you’ve never dealt with allergies before in your life, they somehow found you. You’ve tried denial, and you’ve tried simply ignoring the problem, but have come to realize that there is absolutely no hope and you need to try something new.

This then introduces you into the world of allergy solutions! There are hundreds of sure-fire ways to cure Satan’s cold, and everyone swears by their own form. This article will briefly describe some realistic options.

  1. Organic local honey: no. Wrong. Some people swear that having a tiny bit of organic local honey year round will help your body become mildly immune to seasonal allergies. It sounds super cool and scientific, but in reality will do absolutely nothing. I have tried the organic local honey thing the last two years, and every year my allergies are worse. I’m not saying your allergies will get worse, I’m just saying that after experimenting with this theory the last two years that’s the only solution I have experienced.
  2. Good old-fashioned over-the-counter drugs! Yay! These are the way to go! During allergy season, which could last anywhere from a couple weeks to a couple months, you will have a very specific new set of friends. Let me introduce you to Claritin, Zyrtec, and Benadryl. These are the top prescriptions and will do the most damage to those little death-star-shaped pollens.

Let’s talk about each prescription, first and foremost, the most popular one would be Benadryl. This is not necessarily a parent’s favorite, simply because this pill is known to cause drowsiness. Or small comas. Either one really. But while you’re drifting in and out of consciousness or fighting to keep your eyelids open, you will realize that you are no longer sneezing, blowing your nose, or itching your eyes. Huzzah!

Claritin. This is actually a great pill, especially if you’re trying to fight allergies while also continuing to live life like the normal human. Its known for getting rid of the sniffles and itchy eyes as well, which is really all you need in an allergy pill.

Zyrtec, it’s basically the same thing as Claritin but a different brand, and for some reason it works better for some people than Claritin does. I being one of those people. So do your research, and learn which allergy medications are the best for you and your needs. I personally suggest trying out Benadryl, not because it works the absolute best, but because it doesn’t hurt to relax and take extra edge off as well. Just don’t be ridiculous and take more than one or two.

Now that you have been educated on the various options regarding allergy medication, I release you back into the world filled with stupid amounts of pollen, blooming flowers, burning eyeballs and runny noses. Once you face the fact you have allergies and medicate properly, you will feel like you are ready to conquer the world once again.