Archive for September, 2012

The Annual Ragweed Ritual

itchy eyes, sneezing, allergy season, ragweed season, Ed Neuzil, sinus rinse, saline spray, natural allergy reliefThe headlines are probably telling you what you already know. The fall ragweed season is upon us and it is likely to be worse than previous years.

Symptoms may include itchy eyes and nose, a scratchy throat, frequent sneezing, maybe a cough and just feeling yucky.

Visit your local drug store and you’ll see they’ve stocked the shelves with antihistamines, a variety of saline sprays and more to help you get relief.

According to Ed Neuzil, ARNP, PhD and owner of the Allergy, Sinus and Asthma Family Health Center in Lady Lake, Florida, people who suffer to the point that the pollen is affecting their quality of life and the symptoms appear consistently each allergy season, then they should meet with a medical professional to determine the best plan of action.

But Neuzil also advises taking precautionary steps to avoid symptoms. It can be as simple as:

  1. Keep your windows and doors close so that the airborne pollutants don’t come inside.
  2. If you spend a lot of time outdoors, remove your clothing, wash your face and even wash your hair to get rid of any pollen that may have gotten on you.
  3. Install HEPA filters in your home. They’ll do a better job of filtering out pollen and can be found at most home improvement stores.
  4. Rinse your nose! Seriously. It’s the same as washing out anything else that has trapped dirt and other pollutants.

Some opt for using the ancient saline rinsing system called the “Neti Pot.” This natural therapy involves making a saline concoction that is poured through the nose and helps rinse out nasal passages.

Recent cases of people getting very ill from bacteria in the water got lots of media play.  So doctors recommend that you use distilled water if this is your therapy of choice.

Still, Neuzil cautions Neti Pot and saline rinse users that the simple saline alone can lead to other sinus problems if used too much and he suggests you consult with a practitioner if you use them frequently.

There are other methods, however. In fact, Neuzil developed a non-medicated saline nasal spray that is enhanced with essential oils which help moisturize nasal passages.

Whatever your allergy therapy of choice, it’s important that you don’t try to suffer through season without getting appropriate relief.