Saturday, April 30, 2011

Reducing Symptoms of Seasonal Allergies

by Kris Pitcher

Eventually spring will hit the Inland Northwest. For those of you in sunnier climates - we are envious! It actually SNOWED frozen flakes from the sky yesterday. Even so, leaves are starting to bud out and flowers are popping up. With springs renewal come...allergies!

Stuffy nose, itchy, watery eyes, a scratchy throat - these are some of the miserable symptoms of seasonal allergies. And all pharmaceuticals aside, there is one thing that people swear by for relief.

Allergies are caused by inflammation. The inflammation is caused by pollen from flowering plants, grasses and trees making its way into our nasal passages and parking there. Washing it away is one way to keep clear of the allergy causing pollen.

How do you do that? The neti pot. A neti pot uses gravity to draw the flow of saline solution through the sinuses. A bulb syringe will do the same thing but gives you control over the pressure. Filled with the right amount of warm saline (salt water) can give your sinuses a bath.

This is not for the weak or weary. Or for those afraid of drowning. If you can relax enough to try it you might just get hooked. The first time I used one, I had flash-backs to my scuba exam when I had to take off both my mask and regulator 40 feet under...I was a little scared. It's not natural...

Bent over my bathroom sink with my feet firmly planted on the ground I pushed the water up my right nostril only for it to wind its way through my sinuses and come out my mouth. I might have coughed and sputtered, but I certainly did not drown.

If you suffer like some people I know, you just might want to try reducing your symptoms of seasonal allergies with a neti pot. It just might work for you!  

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