If you’ve walked outside (or even looked out your window), you’ve probably noticed that it looks like someone threw pollen around like confetti. Everything is covered in yellow and people are sneezing like crazy. Hopefully it’ll pass soon, but according to meteorologists, the third week of March is the worst for Houston pollen. The next couple weeks may be rough, but hopefully some of these remedies will make it a little easier for you.
If you have an oak tree in your yard, you’ll notice that it’s shedding pollen like crazy! Tree pollen forecasts for this week are ranking between high and very high levels. As the week progresses, grass pollen will also move up to the high zone. If you’re allergic to any of those things, you may be suffering big time right now. Even if you don’t normally have allergies to oak (whose numbers are through the roof right now) or grass, there is a good chance that you’re feeling a little stuffy or sneezy. Good news for the ragweed-allergic, it’s not your season right now!
While there are many medications you can use to ease allergies, such as a nasal steroid, over-the-counter antihistamines, and more, we also like to find some alternative ways to combat the symptoms. Obviously, you may need to supplement with medication, but there are some great things you can try naturally.
Some of you may not have the option to stay indoors, but if you can, staying indoors will limit your exposure to the pollen flying around outside. Try to keep doors shut as much as possible so nothing is blown into the house, and vacuum so that anything tracked in from outside is cleaned up.
Air purifiers are wonderful and can make a huge difference in your quality of life. They clear the air of allergens, dust, hair, and more so that the air you breathe is cleaner. If you don’t have one, you can find one on Amazon. This article from Good Housekeeping has a list of great purifiers and links to Amazon for easy shopping. If you already have an air purifier, make sure to change the filter because it’s likely worked overtime the past month!
They may seem weird, but neti pots are absolute life savers. Neti pots are great because they can fully flush your sinuses to clear mucous, allergens, and dust. It can also ease irritation and soothe the nasal passages. To use a neti pot, you mix a saline solution and warm (distilled) water and tip your head to the side. You pour the solution into one nostril and the solution will make its way through the other nostril to cleanse the irritants. The Cleveland Clinic has a good how-to to help you understand how to use neti pots. It’s important not to use tap water because it could cause an infection. Medical News Today explains how to prepare your solution and the risks and benefits of using a neti pot.
If you’re unsure about a neti pot, there are over-the-counter options. Arm & Hammer has a pre measured saline solutions and nasal mists that are easy to use and don’t require preparation. This is a great option if you feel uncomfortable with a neti pot or don’t have time for it. Just make sure you are fully flushing your nasal cavity and not just using a short spray.
People have used honey as a cough remedy for thousands of years. It is sticky and thick, so it can coat the throat and help lubricate the airways. For people suffering from coughing and an irritated throat, honey may be an easy (and tasty) way to ease discomfort. You can take a teaspoon of it or stir it into some tea. Warm drinks are also good for soothing throats and easing coughing fits. Just make sure to never give honey to a child under 1 because it can be extremely dangerous.
Essential oils are extremely helpful for people suffering for congestion. There are a lot of different ways to use them including diffusing, putting a few drops in your shower so it mixes with the steam, and rubbing it with a carrier oil on your chest. Peppermint and eucalyptus are both excellent for congestion, but there are others that are also helpful. If you’re not sure where to start, we have a Breathe oil blend available in our boutique! It’s cost-effective and smells good!
Allergy season is tough. Luckily, it doesn’t last forever! The next week or two may be rough, but hopefully you can find some relief from the remedies we suggested. Just know that there is an end in sight!