Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Problems With Allergies?

Dealing With My Allergies

Remedies for dealing with indoor and outdoor allergens

My mom has the worst allergies EVER! Growing up and watching her deal with her allergies made me extremely grateful not to have them! Boy was I wrong! Who knew there was such a thing as late onset allergies?!

I started having trouble with allergies in undergrad. They were pesky but they weren't terrible. I would take over-the counter medicines to get me through the Spring then forget all about them until the next Spring. Over the years, things worsened. I'm from Eastern NC, so Spring there is saturated with pollen. When I went back home for grad school, I quickly learned that the outdoor allergens that bothered me the most were pollen and grass. I've had pets all my life, but just like the outdoor allergens, my reaction to indoor allergens worsened as I got older. I quickly learned that my biggest trigger is pet dander, but mold bothers me as well.

Don't get me wrong, my allergies were a problem, but I'm resilient. I don't like to run to the doctor unless it's extremely urgent! 2015 rolled in and I came down with a cold, which hardly ever happens. The cold went away, but the symptoms didn't. I knew it was my allergies because I was taking medicine for a cold and nothing was happening. I was dealing with the usual symptoms but things had just gotten unbearable. I had migraine-like headaches, sinus pressure, runny nose, watery eyes, itchy eyes/nose/throat, coughing, and sneezing. I was dealing with one, if not multiple symptoms, every day for two months straight!! It was quite ridiculous, so I had no choice but to schedule an appointment.

I wanted to see an Allergist but I needed a referral. This meant that I had to see a primary care physician first. I let him know what I wanted, but of course he wanted me to try his recommendations first. I didn't want to do that! I couldn't be picky after what I'd been through this year, so I was willing to give his recommendations a try.

I was diagnosed with allergic rhinitis, but most people know it as hay fever. The doctor prescribed three things: a Neti Pot, Veramyst, and Zyrtec. I was skeptical about this combination of things because I've been dealing with my allergies for years. My symptoms were serious and I thought I needed serious medicine, not some home remedy! I'd heard of people using Neti Pots to successfully get rid of their allergies, but I always thought it was weird.

As he described it, the Neti Pot would rinse the allergens I'd breathed in that day from the hairs in my nasal and sinus cavities known as the cilia. He suggested I use the pot at night after washing my face. Washing my face would remove any indoor and outdoor allergens hanging out on my face and around my nose so as to not contaminate the pot or recontaminate my nose. (Here's a video demonstration of how the Neti Pot works.) I would then follow this up with a squirt of Veramyst into each nostril. The Zyrtec was for mornings, but only if the first two weren't working.

I added the Neti Pot and Veramyst into my nightly routine and within the first week of doing so, my allergy symptoms vanished! I was very surprised. I even tested this by not using the pot and Veramyst one night and sure enough the next day I was congested and sneezing!

My domestic shorthair black cat whose now on Instagram @ChalkyTheCat
On Instagram @ChalkyTheCat
I can't say with 100% certainty that one will work without the other...or that either will work at all...but I know what it's done for me. If you have issues with allergies, I would definitely recommend at least giving the Neti Pot a try. I've recommended it to both my mom and best friend. Veramyst is a prescription nasal spray, but Nasacort Allergy is an over-the-counter steroid nasal spray similar to Veramyst. I'm not telling you to use either medication because I'm not a doctor. I am, however, suggesting that you discuss any medications with your primary care physician before taking them. I bought a store brand version of Zyrtec. It has the same amount of medicine in it as the name brand, it's just cheaper. I haven't had to use it, but I have it in case I need it.

I have a black cat (whose name is Chalky White - a Boardwalk Empire inspired name. He now has a an Instagram @ChalkyTheCat so check him out! :-) so the pot and spray have successfully worked against my main indoor allergy. Spring and softball season are just around the corner and DC, like Eastern NC, gives my allergies a run for their money!! That'll be the true test for my outdoor allergies. Be on the lookout for an update in the heart of pollen season!

What do you do to rid yourself of allergy woes?!

This is not a sponsored post. I've had so much trouble with my allergies that I wanted to share with the hopes of helping others! These are my true and honest opinions!
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  1. So I watched that video after reading this. Yeah...no.

  2. Girl more power to you. I got a hint of the noae smiffies a few days ago. Yep... SPRING is arriving, ugh! I don't take OTCs or any prescription meds at all so with colds and such, I allow them to run its course (with the help of ACV and honey) - for my allergies, the infamous coconut oil in the nostrils works wonders. Helps lessen the allergies with ease. Hope this helps some :)

  3. I'm glad your allergies are under control. I have a friend who swears by the neti pot, lol! It sounds like a great natural, healing method! I'll give the neti pot a try if my hubby experiences bad allergies this year.

  4. So I used a Neti Pot a few years ago and felt like I was drowning. Plus my nose was on fire afterwards, even after using their enclosed salt packet. I gave up. Now I take a Zyrtec daily (the Costco brand) and it works wonders for my pollen allergy. Maybe I will give that Neti Pot another try...

  5. Nasonex, Allegra, Zyrtec, and tea with ginger root are my best friends right now! I haven't used the Neti Pot, but many friends have and it works great for them.

  6. I have horrible allergies year round! Do you have a Sams by you? I found the off brand of Zyrtec there. IT's called Allertec. (I think). Well it's only $20 for a YEARS WORTH of pills :) It's awesome!

  7. I don't have a Sam's near me, but I do have a Costco! I haven't needed to use the pills just yet. The pot and nasal spray as working just fine! However, if I need to start using the pills I'll keep this info in mind!
    (Sorry for the delay! I usually comment using email addresses, but for those who I can't find email addresses for, I comment here. My comments weren't letting me reply so I've installed Disqus! I hope this message gets to you!)

  8. Oh and yes- you can rub the coconut oil in your nose like you would Vicks in the outside of it.

  9. Girl! I'm thankful this neti pot is doing the job for now. Softball practice has started and so far so good...but the pollen isn't up yet! I've never had anything work long term. Definitely keeping my fingers crossed!!


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