The news headlines and your nose are probably telling you what you already know. The fall ragweed season is upon us and many people are likely to suffer through it.
Symptoms may include itchy eyes and nose, a scratchy throat, frequent sneezing, and maybe a cough.
Visit your local drug store and you’ll see shelves stocked 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 should meet with a medical professional to get relief.
But Neuzil also advises taking precautionary steps to avoid symptoms. It can be as simple as:
- Keep windows and doors closed to keep out airborne pollutants.
- 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.
- Install HEPA filters in your home. Found in most home improvement stores, they’ll help filter out pollen that gets into the air conditioning system.
- Rinse your nose! Seriously. It’s the same as washing out anything else that has trapped dirt and other pollutants.
Some choose to use 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. But there have been recent cases of people getting very ill from bacteria in the water so doctors recommend using distilled water in the Neti Pot.
However, Neuzil cautions Neti Pot and saline rinse users that the simple saline alone can lead to other sinus problems. If used too much it can dry out nasal passages 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 the season without getting appropriate relief.