Seasonal allergies: 3 Easy things to try at home

When allergy season hits, many of us reach for our tried and true over the counter medications.  Often they can handle seasonal allergies well enough.  Sometimes it can help to add a few more tools to the arsenal.  Below are three easy, at home things you can try to help you deal with allergy season just a little bit better.

  1. Sinus massage: 

    • Why?  Massaging the area over the sinuses helps to improve blood flow and can relieve some of the congestion.  It is also something you can do as often as you like.

    • How? Using the middle bone of your thumbs or your fingertips, place your thumbs on either side of the bridge of your nose, resting on the bone.  Moving from inside to outside, slide your thumbs along your upper check bones all the way out to the sides of your face using as much pressure as feels good.  Repeat this at least 30 times.  Repeat this along the brow bone above the eyes.   After a minute or so, sinus pain, pressure and congestion can improve. 

  2. Neti pot:  

    • Why? Despite the fact that for some the idea of using a neti pot seems like a form of self-water boarding, rinsing the sinuses with warm saline helps to physically rinse allergens from the nose while easing congestion.  Using Iodized salt has the added benefit of inhibiting bacterial growth.

    • How?  You can use a purchased saline solution and a neti pot to cleanse one nostril and then the other.  This is best done either leaning over a sink, or while you are in the shower.

  3. Diet:  

    • Why?  If you suffer from post nasal drip, avoiding cold, raw or uncooked foods can be helpful.  Cow's milk products are also mucogenic (meaning they increase the mucous produced in the body) and can add to that drippy nose.  There are also some foods which can help to boost your immune system naturally.  Check out the blog post "Allergy fighting foods" for more information.

    • How?  Reduce cow's milk products or substitute them with sheep, goat milk or alternates such as almond or rice.  Reduce iced drinks and raw or uncooked food can also be helpful.  This is a time of year when many of us are craving salads and other fresh fruit, so at least allow them to come to room temperature before eating or have a hot drink along with them.