“I have horrible allergies.â€
To make that statement alone this morning feels like the understatement of the century, for to simply describe what I have as “horrible allergies”would be like calling Ryan Gosling “cute.”My allergies are so bad that this morning after last night’s attack my lips, the space between my lips and my nose, and my nose are raw. The kleenex with lotion my husband lovingly bought me feels like sandpaper. Speaking of my nose, it looks like it has been punched as it is swollen to double its size, and I have two black eyes. I took not one, not two, not even three, but four Benadryl’s last night to calm whatever was attacking me. And all of these results are after 2 years of allergy shots and the below used regularly tips on How to Combat Allergies Cheaply. But that explanation is so long and comes off as overly dramatic, so I simply tell people, “I have horrible allergies.â€
However, this is the first horrible attack I’ve had all year. This is a pretty good feat as I run outdoors all of the time outside, I spend vasts amount of time at soccer fields, and I enjoy red wine in front of a warm fire pit outside with friends on a regular basis, all no-no’s for allergy sufferers with allergy lists such as mine. (“You don’t have an off outdoor season,”said my allergist the last time I got tested for allergies.) So what do I do to combat allergies? Well lots of things, and I’ve summed them for you in what I call How to Combat Allergies Cheaply.
Buy a Neti Pot.
This is the most expensive item on my list, so I thought I would get it out of the way. A neti pot is a device shaped like a small tea pot used to irrigate the nasal passages. I use it after every time I spend some time outdoors, so that whatever I have breathed in doesn’t have time to fester and set me off. I used to use the, now don’t be grossed out, wet finger up my nose method, but I find that the neti pot to be more thorough about cleaning out the allergens to prevent future attacks.
Shower after all outdoor activities.
I don’t shower before I run or head to the soccer fields. (You’re welcome to those of you around me during those times.) I shower after to rinse off all of the allergens that may be clinging to my body or hair. Also if I have been outside in the evening I take a quick shower before entering my bed for the same reason.
Don’t Sleep with Fido.
Now I know all of you love your pets. I love my dog Jack fiercely, despite being told never to have a furry pet, but Jack in bed with me? That will never happen. In fact he’s not even allowed on my bed or on the furniture, and he’s barely allowed in my bedroom despite the fact he falls in the “hypo-allergenic dog”category. You see the little furry animals that we love and adore and offer us unconditional love in return also bring in with them on their fur all of the allergens that you desperately need to avoid from the outside. Keeping them off of the beds and out of your bedrooms can help provide you with a safe zone in your house up high. So what do you do about the down low parts? Well that is covered in the next step.
Keep your dÃ©cor simple and solid.
There’s a reason why my entire downstairs is covered either in hardwood floors or tile, and I don’t have big fluffy drapes all over my house. Carpets and drapes are perfect traps for allergens, and it is far easier to clean off what you have tracked in from the outdoors from solid surfaces, than it is from carpet and fluffy drapes.
Think Hepa Filter.
Every vacuum I own has a hepa filter in it, and I have found that it makes a huge difference in keeping the allergens trapped to the confines of the vacuum. Now some experts suggest running some sort of hepa filter device regularly, but I have never needed to go that far in my own home. However, if you get desperate, try it and let me know how it goes.
Keep your house clean and clutter free.
Now I know you guys are perfect housekeepers, cough-cough, but really this step is pretty important to the serious allergy sufferer. Dust? It’s bad. Mold? It’s worse. And a house that is not vacuumed, cleaned, and dusted regularly (meaning once a week people) creates an environment made for allergens to thrive.
Change your air filters regularly, and wash your sheets once a week in extremely hot water.
Now these items fall under the keep your house clean and clutter free category. However, these two items are two of the most important steps in the keeping your house clean and clutter free category, so I thought they deserved their own step. Air filters are great at trapping allergens, but only if they are changed regularly. And washing the sheets regularly not only gets rid of dust and other allergens, but washing them in super hot water kills those pesky dust mites that cause havoc with your nasal passages.
Make your spouse do the outside chores regularly.
It was part of my husband’s vows. “I vow to do all of the lawn mowing, leaf raking, gutter cleaning, garage sweeping, etc. regularly.”Okay. Maybe those part of the vows weren’t said out loud, but they definitely were part of his subtext. And it is important to keep all of that taken care of on a regular basis by someone else so that mold doesn’t have the opportunity to grow and end up in your house creating havoc. However for the serious outdoor allergy sufferer such as me, (Remember “you don’t have an off outdoor season?â€), it it critical that I not do any of those things in order to stay well.
Now if you like to search around on the Internet there are a ton of other ways to prevent allergies attacks from happening. However, in How to Combat Allergies Cheaply, I offered up the ones that I in my many, many years of allergy suffering experience love the most and have worked the best. So how did I end up with such a severe attack last night if I’m so careful and these steps work so well? Well lets just say I decided to bring down all of my Christmas decorations from the dusty, dusty, dusty attic all by myself, and I’ve spent the past 3 days cleaning them and putting them up. Though I have to say it was totally worth it. Don’t you agree?
“Woman With Cold Blowing Nose” by David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net