Do you suffer from seasonal allergies, with associated symptoms of sneezing, nasal congestion and sinus pressure? If you need relief, taking medication drugs may not be the ideal choice, due to side effects such as drowsiness or restlessness. Fortunately, there are several home remedies for alleviating your allergy symptoms naturally. Whether inhaling steam or using an indoor air filtration system, drug-free relief is possible.
What Are Seasonal Allergies?
Seasonal allergies often occur at specific times throughout the year (primarily spring and summer), when the outdoor pollen count is at its peak. It is sometimes referred to as allergic rhinitis, and it's simply your body overreacting to outdoor irritants. In an effort to rid the mucus membranes of irritants such as grass and tree pollen, your immune system responds by overproducing mucus.
Treat Your Symptoms Naturally
Common sense tells you to avoid outdoor allergens by staying indoors as much as possible. This is not always practical, and there are times when you may be affected. When your allergies are making you suffer, rather than using drugs to treat your symptoms, try these natural home remedies:
1. Use a Personal Steam Inhaler
Steam therapy is often used to treat nasal and sinus congestion. The use of steam may restore moisture to your bronchial tubes and nasal cavities, relieving some discomfort. When taking a steamy shower is not possible or practical, a personal steam inhaler is a good alternative. This device is a portable unit with a plastic "hood" and water vessel. Using tap water and household electricity, the unit heats the water, emitting steam that you may inhale for 10-20 minutes at a time. You may adjust the amount of steam with a control on the unit.
2. Flush Your Sinuses
When allergies cause nasal congestion, you may want to irrigate your sinuses to remove trapped mucus and irritants. You may flush out these irritants using a gentle mist of non-medicated saline solution, or with the use of a neti-pot. The saline spray may restore moisture and help you flush some of the "gunk" away. However, a neti-pot may be more effective, as it offers a more thorough flushing effect. The neti-pot is a hand-held device that resembles a miniature teapot, due to its elongated spout. It requires the use of sterilized water and saline. For treatment, you'll turn your head sideways and place the spout into your nostril, allowing the water to flow out the other nostril. You'll then repeat the step for the other nostril.
You must never use unfiltered tap water in your net-pot for flushing your sinuses, as microorganisms in the water may cause infection. The net-pot must also be cleaned and disinfected after use. Always follow instructions carefully when using this type of device.
3. Clear the Air
By keeping your windows open during the day, you may be introducing pollen and other irritants into your home. To make your entire home more comfortable and possibly reduce your allergy symptoms, invest in an air filtration system. An air purifier with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter a good option. The HEPA filter is intended to trap particles that are airborne, thus cleaning the air that you breathe. If you don't want to incur the expense of an entire-house air purifier, place a portable unit in your sleeping area. In conjunction with air conditioning, this may help you sleep better and avoid awakening with congestion.
4. Spice Up Your Diet
Eating spicy foods may decongest your sinuses. Have you noticed your nose begin to run after eating Jalapeno peppers or spicy chili? This helps alleviate your congestion by helping to flush out irritants and mucus. As long as you don't experience stomach discomfort or heartburn, adding some spice to your diet is worth a try for relieving allergy symptoms.
5. Take a Probiotic Supplement
Probiotics are the "friendly" bacteria that help keep your digestive system in balance. And now studies have shown that probiotics may help with allergy symptoms as well. If you want to give probiotic supplements a try, choose those that are individually foil wrapped, as exposure to light could destroy the live bacteria.
6. Sip Some Peppermint Tea
Peppermint tea acts as a natural decongestant. This is because the essential oils found in the peppermint help to unclog nasal and sinus passages. Next time you feel all stuffed up from allergies, sip some peppermint tea and feel better. If you don't have peppermint herbal tea, try placing a peppermint stick into a warm cup of regular tea.
7. Wash Your Clothes
Strange as it may seem, your clothes may be making you sneeze. This is because pollen and allergens may become trapped on your clothes. After returning home from the outdoors, toss your clothes into the washing machine to rid them of any particles that are trapped in the fabric. Be sure to wash your bed clothes and towels every day as well.
If all else fails, you might want to visit your immunologist or allergy specialist for treatment. Allergy shots, also known as immunotherapy, may help your body become immune to irritants that cause your discomfort. The injections will consist of small doses of known irritants administered in a series of regular treatments. Treatments may be ongoing for a specified period of time.
If you want more information about natural remedies, you can discover more here.