Got allergies? Here's how I finally beat allergies for good.
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I hope you don't mind me getting a little personal today. Hopefully this isn't TMI about my strange medical struggles but I wanted to give you a little insight into how I finally beat allergies. I know I'm not the only one with these issues because a whopping 50 million people in the US suffer from yucky nasal allergies. I'm pretty sure there are a few of you who struggle too so I'm sharing because I hope it might help.
I'm also interjecting some pretty photos of flowers in this post... because what says allergies more than flowers and these flowers are prettier than my sinuses :-)!
As I mentioned last week, after years of struggle I feel like I finally beat allergies. For most of my adult like I felt like they were controlling me, and now I feel like I conquered them. It's not to say I still don't deal with them, but I am now in control instead of the other way around.
I've been a little afraid to share some of the details as per not to jinx it... but if it helps even just one person to stop and smell the flowers it will be worth it.
A little history first... I've always had allergies. I took medicine when I was a kid and even tried allergy shots. They were bad but manageable. Things really got worse when I moved to Asheville. That's also when my lovely asthma kicked in as well.
I started taking combinations of over-the-counter meds and prescription meds for allergy relief... but most of what I was doing was constantly treating the symptoms instead of getting ahead of them. I always struggled breathing, could never smell anything, and had routine sinus infections that needed antibiotics to treat. Things like these pretty flowers were my worst nightmare.
It all came to a head about five years ago when I started losing my voice (for many reasons but partly from uncontrolled sinus issues) and getting a debilitating cough every time I got sick, which was way too often. At that time, I started to work with an allergist and ENT specialist to try to figure out why I kept getting sick. I tried doing allergy shots again, but I was too allergic, had severe reactions and my body could not handle it. My asthma got out of control because of all of this.
I'm skipping a lot of boring details here, but it took several years of trial and error with natural remedies, medication, and sinus surgery to clear out years of gunk... but I am finally feeling so much better.
So here's what I did to beat allergies...
Used a Nasal Spray
Nasal spray can be a game-changer if you suffer from allergies and even asthma-related to allergies. As I first mentioned last week, one critical thing that I added to my allergy routine was nose spray.
Before I got things under control, no matter what I did I couldn't get rid of the nasal congestion and watery eyes. I felt like I constantly needing to take a nasal decongestant just to breathe. I struggled using a traditional nose spray because it would irritate my nose giving me nosebleeds.
Eventually, I tried a type of nasal spray with a mist delivery system, which provided a nice puff instead of that big squirt. I could finally use it and for the first time in my adult life, I could breathe routinely out of my nose.
If you've struggled with uncomfortable nose spray before too I've got good news! This spring you can now get a nose spray with a mist-delivery system over the counter at CVS. It's called FLONASE® Sensimist™ Allergy Relief. You used to only be able to get it by prescription and now it's so easy to pick up at CVS!
FLONASE® Sensimist™ Allergy Relief is scent-free, alcohol-free, has little to no drip, and is less invasive with a short nozzle. So basically it takes a lot of things that make a nose spray uncomfortable and makes them better.
If you are struggling with allergies, I highly recommend you stop by CVS to try it out. I honestly feel like it could help many of you, which is why I was excited to share this with you.
Worked with an Allergist
For lots of folks, trying over counter allergy meds will probably be enough to help you, but if you have serious issues find a good allergist and keep going back until you figure out how to get better. It literally took years of trial and error to figure out what works for me.
A lot of those great products are now available over the counter now like FLONASE® Sensimist™ Allergy Relief, but an allergist can also help point you in the right direction.
Ask your doctor about all your options and have them explain them to you. If it's really bad, you might be a candidate for a unique treatment. Sinus surgery stinks, but it might be what you need. Everyone's situation is different, so just make sure that if you are still struggling you keep asking questions. Be persistent. It paid off for me and now my allergies and asthma are under control.
Tried Combinations of Meds
The biggest thing I figured out with my struggle to beat allergies was that one type of allergy medicine just wasn't going to cut it for me. I am on several ones that treat different things including ones that work with my allergic asthma. Everyone responds to different meds, so it's not exactly important which ones I'm on... just know that if it's really bad one might not cut it. I don't like being on them, but the alternative of getting sick all the time is worse for me.
You don't want to double dose, but many of the meds work in different ways. A nose spray is one you can usually add to medicines you are already taking. Also remember I am far from being your doctor, so talk to yours about it.
Used nasal wash
Another big one for me was using a nasal wash after being exposed to serious pollens... like these pur-try flowers.
A nasal wash can basically keep my sinuses clear instead of fogged up. They are really gross, but they are natural and they do work. There are lots of different kinds to experiment with and find out what is most comfortable for you. Stop by CVS and pick one up.
Be Proactive Instead of Reactive
This is by far the hardest one on the list. Before I beat my allergies I was always reactively treating the symptoms. Whether it be a full-blown sinus infection, stuffy nose, headache, or sore throat, there was always something that was bothering me that I reacting to.
Now that I found a routine that works, I like to get ahead of the problem and be proactive. I always take my meds, but am especially diligent in the spring and fall, when my problems are worse. I do a nasal wash on high pollen days and keep the windows closed. Pollen in my house just isn't worth it. Even meds like the FLONASE® Sensimist™ Allergy Relief can help me stay ahead of my problems because they keep me from ever getting congested. Be proactive instead of reactive.
On a more natural note, I like to be as healthy as possible in my everyday life by eating as many colorful vegetables as possible and exercise daily. I do believe food can be medicine too.
Getting enough sleep at consistent times has also been something that has transformed my life and health. Staying healthy keeps my immune system happy... therefore keeping me happy, healthy, and allergy-free.
So that's the very short version of how I beat my allergies! I hope it helps some of you who struggle this time of year.
Like this post about how I beat allergies? Find it later by pinning this to your favorite Pinterest Board!
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And don't forget to try FLONASE® Sensimist™ Allergy Relief the next time you are at CVS!
Thanks for making Running in a Skirt part of your day! Come back tomorrow for my Crock Pot Enchilada Bake!
Any tips to help allergy sufferers?
Comment below to share how you will #BeGreater with #SensimistatCVS !
My daughter struggles with allergies or sinus . Im going to tell her about taking a pill every morning for allergies and flonase nose mist . Everything expensive from tablets to mist and no insurbe to see a doctor. But will do med and nose mist . Hope it helps i feel bad for my daughter thanks for information.
I have suffered from Allergies. I found that your steps are extremely helpful in this battle against nature. Thank you for such a practical and useful post.
I suffer seasonal allergies (yes, we are just entering the dreaded season). I used to take medications for them, but now I just deal with it. My daughter, on the other hand, has allergies and this year we had an asthma episode that landed her in the hospital. She now sees her doctor regularly regarding her allergies/athsma, takes a daily steroid inhaler, and has nose drops (which she hates!)
I feel ya! I have asthma too and if I ignore it I'm in the hospital too! Hope she grows out of it because I feel for her!
These are some really great tips!!! I usually take some meds when my allergies start acting up and they work like a charm!
Kristina @ Love & Zest says
What beautiful flower pictures! This nose spray was a lifesaver for me last year. I was skeptical at first, but oh my! First use and I was amazed at how much easier I could breathe!
Mary Ellen @ VNutrition says
Such great ideas Julie! I still have not used one of those neti pots so I'll have to try that. The pictures with the flonase in the flower garden is so cute. Thanks so much for these tips, going to try them for my allergies, they're starting to pop up again now.
Thanks Mary Ellen! It really helped me.
Taylor Kiser says
These are great tips for allergy season! Thanks for sharing how you were able to beat your allergies! Hopefully this allergy season won't be too bad on me. I'll remember these tips though if so!
I hope so too. Thanks Taylor!
All great tips! Lots of people from Up North are dealing with allergies here in Florida! Great tips!
Great tips!! I couldn't agree more, you need to be PROACTIVE when dealing with any sort of aliment! Glad you found a solution!
Amanda Brooks says
One thing that helped me a ton was taking off our shoes always and showering as soon as I can to get pollen out of my hair!
So true! Keeps the house clean too.
None of us have allergies...but if we ever have a kid who does this is super helpful!
Totally! Thanks Laura!
Look at those gorgeous flowers!
Allergies were not a big deal for me except when I lived in central Illinois as a jr high kid and then when I moved to Texas. I use local honey in my tea and it relieves my symptoms! My mom used Flonase when I was growing up and I can still remember what it smells like to this day!
Thanks for sharing and congrats!
I just try to avoid going outside. Just kidding! I usually take a claritian haha
Haha! I feel ya!
Lisa Ballantyne says
I've suffered ever since my teen years. (I turned 55 this past Feb. 2 so that's a long time!) Went through the horrible agony of those skin tests (felt like the Biblical 39 whip lashes, just one short of death!) and years of the shots before I finally gave it up and discovered one of the mists. I won't post the product name but it really seemed to help a lot. At that time the Flonase was only available by prescription, but now that it's OTC it may be worth a try. Thank you for all the helpful information today!
Ohhhh those are the worst! This mist one is really helpful!
My dad is a physician and SWEARS by Flonase. Every time I have a slight cough or a small sniffle, his first question is, "Have you been doing your nosespray?"
Awwww smart man!!!
Allergies get the best of me too during the spring but nasal spray really does help!
It does! Thanks Annmarie.
dixya @food, pleasure, and health says
my boyfriend is dealing with severe allergies this season so i will pass this post to him. thank you for sharing..
I hope it helps!
Pretty flowers! I had bad allergies too. Got shots when I was a kid and my allergies would effect my eyes. So much so that they looked blood red. Finally had to quit contacts and just go lasik. But I've heard really great things about Flonase.
It's really helped me!
My allergies use to be terrible but years ago I was told I outgrew them. Since I've had a couple years with issues but I'm told there is over the counter but with so many I just deal with it. I'll put this on my list for the next time I have issues.
You are so lucky!!!
Christina Bauer says
I suffered with nasal allergies for most of my childhood. They began reducing once I moved to college (from the countryside to the city) and now, I only rarely get an allergy flare up - usually around spring and fall time. I've tried ALL the drugs in my past for allergies - hated the nasal sprays, the liquids were disgusting flavors, and the pills seemed to wear off over time. Now, for the rare flare-up, I take a 24-hour pill and hope for the best!
I hated the sprays too, but this one is different! Try it!!
Kerri Olkjer says
Allergies are the worst! So glad you're finding things that bring you relief.
Thanks so much Kerri!
Blane Sherer says
So many people are having an extra rough allergy season this year.
Hopefully sharing your story with allergies will be helpful for those
who read this. I'm so glad that you are doing so much better !
Thanks so much Blane! I'm happy to be doing better too!
Annemarie LeBlanc says
My husband and eldest son suffer from allergies this time of year. My favorite time of year is Spring, but I think they think otherwise. All the pollen in the air is making my house sound like there is a sneezefest going on. Thanks for letting me know about Flonase. I will get this and make them try it. Hopefully it will help relieve them of their allergies.
It helps so much! I promise!
Kristen from The Road to Domestication says
I'm sitting here reading this while I'm clearing my throat, rubbing my eyes and sniffling. Stupid oak blossoms. I might have to try some of those Flonase stuff!
Totally! It's good stuff.
abbey sharp says
Great tips. You can always find me with a box of kleenex when allergy season rolls around haha
me too! Thanks Abbey!
Jessica @Nutritioulicious says
Great tips Julie! So glad you found some allergy relief! 🙂
Neely Moldovan says
Nasal spray has been so helpful to me. I also take a zyrtec ever morning.
Helps so much!
Pollen bothers me and I'm also allergic to most animals (which is crazy because I have a cat.) I take a daily OTC allergy pill and use Flonase as a back-up. When I'm traveling - and away from my cat - I don't need to take anything! I just refuse to give up Chloe. 🙂
Oh man!!! I feel ya though-- it's worth it.
Ugh, I was just complaining to my doctor about my allergies yesterday.. During the cold months, I suffer from indoor allergies (dust etc, blowing around from the heat) and then the spring comes and the flowers and trees get me! I am a fan of flonase when I require it.
Oh I feel ya! Mine laughs that I'm basically allergic to life! lol!
We were just remarking that that's a reason many people come to Colorado, because it's a bit drier here and the pollen isn't as bad; however it's usually still hard for people with allergies a bit in the spring and fall.
I'm so glad you found things to help you; allergies seem like they can be really tough on the body.
Thanks Emily! It can be tough!
Kristina Paché Ferency says
My hubby and my mom have bad allergies every year. I'll have to share this with them!! Thank you for the helpful info! They may benefit from this!
Thanks Kristina! I hope it helps.
Mary Jean Henson says
Allergies are no fun. My doctor just prescribed Flonase for me. What a relief..Thanks for the great tips.
It helps so much!
Lisa Collins says
My allergies have been in full force this past week. Iowa weather doesn't know what it's doing (typical spring) but today I have some relief thanks to rain!
Here too! Weather has been wonky!
So glad you found ways to finally combat your allergies. They can certainly make life miserable for sure!! Enjoy your day!
They can! Thanks Debbie.
Sarah @ Sweet Miles says
Okay, allergies in Arkansas are NO FREAKING JOKE. Seriously. Springtime is so bad, my car is lime green because it's covered in so much pollen. I'm hoping this next round of storms will knock some of it out so my eyes stop feeling like sand paper, haha!
Oh no!!! You've got to try these nose spray. I swear by it.
Deborah @Confessions of a mother runner says
Allergies are back with a vengeance this spring already. Flonase definitely helps!
They have! All those pretty flowery trees!
I do not have too many allergies but I know it is the season as my car is yellow from the pollen that is in the air. A nasal spray is a gray suggestion. I will have to remember that if they start to act up.
It has really helped me!
Susie @ Suzlyfe says
Ah allergy season. We have it for about 2 weeks here, and then it is gone, But I remember the season of green/yellow from my childhood!
Oh yes... I call it the pollen bomb!