Getting serious about your allergies and how you manage them is a great attitude to have, because there are many preventative and natural measures you can take to ease your symptoms and suffering.
"The biggest trend we see in allergies isn't technology and it isn't medicine — it's the tendency to go for a more natural treatment," said Brunilda Nazario, MD, medical editor at WebMD, in an article for Reader’s Digest.
Natural allergy relief comes in many forms from naturally sourced over-the-counter medication to nasal irrigation, pollen masks, and allergen avoidance – together they will help you manage your allergies, so you can enjoy spring and fall just like everybody else!
Spring Cleaning for Your Nose
As an allergy sufferer, when you think about cleansing the nose, you automatically imagine boxes and boxes of tissues, as well as a red and very tender nose. After all, your nose is the very crime scene of all allergy attacks, so doesn’t it make sense to flush it out?
Really, only the nose knows what lurks up there, but common visitors include mucus, dust, dirt, pollen, spores, hair particles, etc. Like any infected area, you want to sterilize it and make sure it’s free of bacteria and irritants. It’s one of the most natural ways to stay on top of your allergy symptoms.
Keep Your Nose Clean
According to the Johns Hopkins Medical Review:
Douglas Reh, a sinus specialist in the Johns Hopkins Department of Otolaryngology, regularly prescribes nasal irrigation to patients suffering from hay fever. “There’s very good evidence that patients feel better when they do this,” he says.
If you suffer from allergies, then you’re all too familiar with that stuffed-up feeling. When you can’t breathe properly, everything suffers – your quality of life, your activity levels, your enjoyment of the outdoors – but your body and mind also suffer. Not being able to breathe properly means less oxygen to the brain and body, which leaves you feeling groggy and lethargic. You can alleviate these symptoms simply by getting into the daily practice of cleansing your nose.
The Neti Pot
Rinsing your nose with a saline-based solution is an age-old tradition that originates from Ayurvedic medicine as a remedy for the common cold and other nasal conditions. It’s a practice that spread across the globe. There are even stories from Sweden about fisherman who practiced nasal cleansing with salty sea water to keep colds away.
Even today, as many as 87% of physicians in the US recommend nasal cleansing in the treatment of “chronic sinus symptoms in patients with allergic rhinitis, asthma, and nasal polyposis.”
The practice of nasal cleansing was also adopted by other disciplines, like yoga and meditation. The reason behind this is the belief in breathing as a means to good physical and mental health. It makes sense when you think about it. Controlled, uncongested breathing brings nutrient-rich oxygen into the body as nourishment for the muscles, bones, and organs like the brain. Good breathing and a well-oxygenated body is, therefore, the answer to superior health.
The Art of Nasal Irrigation
But when you have allergies and you can’t breathe through your nose, it certainly doesn’t add to your quality of life, or help with your productivity at work and energy levels at home. Nasal irrigation is such a natural way to treat allergy symptoms, you really can’t go wrong. Essentially, what you’ll experience is the same feeling you get when you take in a deep breath – refreshing, awake and alive!
12 Tips of Nasal Cleansing
1. Buy a Neti pot from your local drugstore or health food store.
2. Use only sterilized water for cleansing.
3. Dissolve 1 tsp salt in ½ litre lukewarm water.
4. Stand over a sink and tilt your head to one side.
5. Gently insert the clean nozzle of the Neti pot into one nostril.
6. Slowly tip up and let the water flow from one nostril to the other.
7. Make sure to breathe through your mouth.
8. Wipe your nose and repeat on the other side.
9. Gentle blow your nose to get rid of any residue.
10. Daily use is recommended during allergy season.
11. Only recommended for short-term use.
12. Consult your doctor before using.
If the saline solution irritates your nose, flush the area out with plain, sterilized water. It’s important not to overdo the salt content, so make sure you stick to the 1 tsp to ½ litre water ratio. After each use, make sure you sterilize the Neti pot thoroughly and leave to air dry.
Natural Allergy Relief – A Breath of Fresh Air
It’s also recommended that you only use nasal irrigation as a short-term, first line of defense. The nasal cavity houses beneficial bacteria that your body needs to fight off intruders. If you overdo your application of nasal cleansing with saline, you could destroy this good bacteria along with the bad. Check with your doctor for the best course of action and file this solution away as a recommended first line of defense against allergy attacks.
For natural allergy relief, nasal cleansing is a breath of fresh air!