Allergies: A Rite of Spring

BlossomDue to the lack of winter here, allergy season started early this year in the Pacific Northwest.  Trees and daffodils started blooming as early as January, and the grass started growing fast and never quit!  While it’s pleasant to have nice weather, it comes with a price.  And that price for many, myself included, is those annoying springtime allergies.  This year is especially fierce; not only here, but in most areas of the country.

Since I suffer from allergies the hardest during springtime,  I decided to take a more proactive approach this year.  The spring allergy season was going to be a long one, so I planned my attack.  I didn’t want to spend any more time than I had to suffering from debilitating allergy symptoms, like in previous years.  This year was going to be different!

First up, I was going to take a 24 hour non-drowsy allergy medication every single day. I picked out Claritin, actually the store-brand equivalent ( a LOT cheaper), and started taking one pill a day.  This had little or no effect.  I posted my allergy woes on my Facebook status update, and got several really good suggestions.   Facebook can be so helpful in many ways!   One friend who is a nurse, suggested I take two tablets a day to get the dosage up to prescription strength.  I looked on the package, and sure enough, the one-pill dosage was the same for a six-year-old as for an adult.  So I started taking two a day, and after a couple of  days it seemed to kick in, and kick butt!

I am also continuing with my daily neti pot rinses, as I do year-round.   I do this later in the day, after the buildup of allergins.  The warm saline water poured through the nasal passages is so soothing and cleansing.  A lot of times I’m pretty congested and not much water gets through.  But even getting just a little bit up the nose seems to help dig through the congestion and help clear the airways.  One trick I’ve learned recently is after you rinse with the neti pot, bend over in front and blow your nose.  Turn your head sideways and blow too.  One crazy thing about using a neti pot is that the saline solution will quite often pool up somewhere in the recesses of your sinuses, and then come rushing out hours later when you bend over.  This most likely happens in a public place, of course!  Doing the bend-over nose blow will prevent this embarrassing occurrence.

Doing these two things have helped immensely!  The combination of medication, and the neti pot rinse really packs a punch for me.  I am Rite of Springable to continue my daily outdoor walks, and just generally go about life.  I also do other things to help keep allergies at bay: eat healthily, drink lots of water, take many vitamins and supplements, and use saline nasal spray.  While I’m not completely symptom free, it is so much better than in springs past.  It almost makes me feel like dancing ‘The Rite of Spring’.  On second thought, I think I’ll pass on that.  That ballet was about a pagan ritual where a girl dances herself to death.  Maybe a few springtime allergies don’t sound so bad after all!


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