In some parts of the country, this weekend was a real kick-off to spring. The weather was beautiful and warm enough for all of those trees and spring bulbs to pop out some color. Unfortunately for allergy sufferers, this means the start of itchy eyes and runny noses. Here are some tips to help you combat the sniffles and sneezing this year.
1)Rinse out your nose. Consider using a Netti pot or other similar device that rinses water up one nostril, into your sinuses and out the other. This amazing little tool removes all of that pollen, dust, and mold that has settled in for the season. If you are already somewhat inflamed, consider adding a tiny pinch of sea salt (not table salt) to reduce the redness and irritation.
2)Shower at night (or after you spend all day in the outdoors). Even doing a quick rinse off will help to remove any pollen or dust that your hair and skin has collected during the day. You will sleep much better because you won’t be rolling around in those allergens.
3)Regularly wash your sheets and blankets during allergy season. Like showering yourself off at night, this removes those allergens from the surface of your bed so you aren’t breathing it in all night long.
4) Consider running an air filter in your room. I have had multiple patients swear that because they are so sensitive during the spring, a filter in their bedroom helps reduce the load of allergens they breathe in while sleeping. If you don’t like white noise, run it for an hour or two with the door closed before you are actually ready to fall asleep.
5)Reduce your sugar and dairy intake during allergy time. Dairy doesn’t cause your body to produce more mucus but it does thicken what you already have causing you to be more congested – and who needs thicker mucus while you’re sneezing? Sugar can suppress your immune system and during this time you need all hands on deck to remove those pollen, dust, and mold spores.