How do I know it’s Spring?
Violent bouts of sneezing? Check.
Crazy red and itchy eyes? Check.
An incessant drip, drip, drip from my nose? Check.
Anyone who suffers from seasonal allergies, like me, has a love-hate relationship with Spring.
And the drug makers love us! Prescription and over-the-counter medications for seasonal allergies are huge money makers; we spend billions every year!
I’ve tried a lot of different remedies over the years, but now I know how to keep things simple and inexpensive.
Every spring I write a few posts on this topic, so here is a round up of my favorite tips to save money and find relief from allergy symptoms. Follow the links for more detailed information.
The neti pot is an inexpensive and simple way to wash the pollen or other allergens out of your nose. Unlike allergy medications, it doesn’t have any side effects like drowsiness or dry mouth.
A neti pot is so gentle, so you can even use it more frequently if you need to. I use it after working out in my garden, or anytime the pollen count is really high.
By being proactive, I can usually keep the sneezing, congestion and post-nasal drip from really making my life miserable. Neti pot for spring allergies
I have dry eyes that seem to be sensitive to all kinds of chemicals and fragrances, as well as pollen.
The neti pot doesn’t help so much with my eyes, so I need to use eye drops. For allergies, the best eye drops contain the antihistamine ketotifen. Plain moisturizing drops are fine for dry eyes, but they don’t treat an allergy’s underlying problem. And drops that just “get the red out” can actually make irritated allergy eyes even worse!
I don’t use either prescription or over-the-counter allergy medications anymore. Honestly, I didn’t find them all that effective and I didn’t like the side effects. And they are so expensive!
The major side effect for me was dry eyes (and mouth and sinuses). Rather than relieve my allergy eye symptoms, antihistamines just made them worse.
Drowsiness is another side effect I don’t like, although taking the medication at bedtime can help. I know the new generation of allergy meds claims to be non-drowsy, but everyone reacts to drugs differently, and these can still cause drowsiness in some people. Always read the safety information on the label!
My post from last spring, Save money on seasonal allergy medications, goes into much more detail about over-the-counter antihistamines, decongestants and nasal sprays. Check it out for more information.
And here’s a link to a great infographic about seasonal and other allergies: Allergies 101