After receiving my Xolair injections this morning, I popped on over to the office to talk with my boss about projects and said hi to a few co-workers. One was asking me what I do to handle the tree allergies going on right now. “Wellllll,” I said, “I use…”
- Allegra and Zyrtec
- Maintenance nasal spray (Fluticasone Propionate)
- Emergency nasal spray (Azelastine)
- Eye drops (Pataday)
- Sinus rinses
- And occasionally Benadryl
I also have epi-pens I carry around, but have never had to use them. I actually hadn’t noticed the allergies much until a few days ago. I think it was because I had been inside some much and our in-home babysitter had the doors open. By the end of the day my nose was constantly running, and my eyes were itching. Not too bad in the grand scheme of things.
Rinsing my sinuses has been a major game-changer for me, but I know it doesn’t work for everyone. I prefer the Neti squeeze bottles over the traditional Neti Pot as I can control the water pressure going through my sinuses. It’s important to use filtered or distilled water. There have been reported cases of people getting nasty stuff in their sinuses from using tainted water. Just be safe.
I’ve also heard stories of people getting or prolonging sinus infections from rinsing their sinuses. This hasn’t been a problem for me, but definitely talk to your doctor if you have questions. I always put my head down in the sink and blow my nose on both sides a few times, tipping my head side to side, to get all the water out. When I first started doing this about 5 years ago, I would have water randomly come out of my sinuses. This method of getting the water out has eliminated the problem.
I buy my sinus rinse supplies in “bulk” off Amazon. I get two bottles and 250 packets at a time.
It ends up being much cheaper than running to a pharmacy, especially since most places seem to only carry the bottles pre-filled with saline and a few extra packets. It’s a waste of money if you ask me.
The one other thing I’ve found very valuable is a drying stand, if you’re rinsing your sinuses regularly. This’ll help everything to dry out in between uses.
If you’re looking for OTC eye drops, my friend says Alaway is the brand to try. It can also help to check Pollen.com, or get one of the many apps for your smartphone, so you know what to expect. It’s kind of like checking the weather in a hopefully non-compulsive way. Sometimes just knowing how bad it might be can cause a little anxiety.
Lastly, I sometimes wear a mask outside. I wanted to get one of those skull masks like you see special forces guys wearing in action films, but those things don’t really work with beards.
I ended up getting a boring, washable, plain black one. It’s thicker than the paper ones you get at the doctor’s office if you have a cough and fever. It can also be a little harder to breathe through, but it stays on my face well and makes a noticeable difference. It’s good for wearing on planes as well.
Just remember to take it off before entering a gas station/convenience store or a bank. They get kind of weird about dudes in masks.