It’s officially springtime, and for many places around the US, that means more flowers and trees blooming. While this is beautiful to see, for many of those who suffer from allergies, this is one of the worst times of the year. With blooming trees comes pollen, with better weather comes breezes and kicked up dust, and more.
Worst of all, if you don’t address your seasonal allergies right at the beginning, your allergies can turn into something worse, like a sinus infection. Treating sinus infections can be more expensive than tackling your seasonal allergies early, so here are several ways to save money handling seasonal allergies.
I know, I know – the weather is beautiful! Why do you want to stay cooped up inside? Don’t get too mad at me: you just need to stay inside in the morning. The morning time is considered high pollinating time, and from sunrise to roughly 11 a.m., you should stay inside to avoid this.
In addition, try to stay inside when it’s very windy outside. The wind will not only kick up pollen, but also dust, which can exacerbate the allergies you already have. Dust and dirt can also get into your mouth and eyes, making the allergy situation worse. If you have to be outside during a windy period, try to cover your hair and face as much as possible until you get inside.
Change Your Clothes and Shower Every Night
As soon as you get home, be sure to change your clothes into something clean. Even better would be to hop in the shower and wash your hair and body, then get into clean clothes. It’s a little bit of a hassle, sure, but by rinsing out all the dust, dirt, and pollen from the day, you won’t continue suffering all night long.
Taking a shower before you go to bed has a double effect of keeping your bed clean as well. Since you sleep in your bed and on your pillowcase, you don’t want to be bringing in dust and pollen where you sleep. By showering before bed, you’ll get all of the allergy-inducing pollen off and climb into a clean bed to get restful sleep.
Compare Over the Counter (OTC) Medications to Prescription
Depending on the recommendation from your doctor, you may be able to use an OTC medication instead of a prescription. However, it really depends on your insurance and your doctor’s recommendation. If your doctor recommends a prescription that, with health insurance, brings the price to an affordable amount, stick with that prescription.
If, however, an OTC or generic drug is more affordable, discuss with your doctor if you could take the OTC or generic version to get the same results. Your ultimate goal is to not suffer from your allergies, but it’s worth asking your doctor for his/her recommendations on other allergy medications.
Create Your Own Saline Rinse
While I’ve never tried it, many people swear by the Neti Pot and making their own saline rinses. WebMD has an excellent example of how to use saline rinses and create your own at home, and saline rinses can certainly help those suffering from allergies.
These saline rinses can help clear sinuses by rinsing away thick or dried mucus as well as an dust or pollen trapped in your nose. Many people also love saline rinses because they provide much-need moisture to a nose that’s likely dry and irritated from sneezing all day.
In all likelihood, if you’re anything like me, your relief from seasonal allergies will come from a combination of everything listed above. Around this time of the year, I stock up on OTC medication, avoid going outside like the plague, and immediately shower when I get home from work. If you have pets, you’ll have to work harder to keep the inside of your house clean: I wash the sheets on my bed twice a week and change pillow cases every other day, just to stay on top of my allergies (and no pets in the bedroom!)
Finally, some people find relief in getting allergy shots although, depending on your insurance, they may or may not be covered. Allergy shots can be expensive, so do some research on the cost and efficacy before signing up for several rounds of shots.
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How do you battle seasonal allergies, and do you have any tips for those suffering from seasonal allergies?