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.
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Any tips to help allergy sufferers?
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