How to prevent your Allergies and sinus issues at home.
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I am sure that there are many of you who suffer from allergies all year long. If not I bet you’ve had some seasonal allergies or maybe a sinus infection here and there. I have been suffering from allergy and sinus issues my entire life so today I wanted to share some preventative maintenance tips and some experiences I have had. I also have some extremely helpful products to point out and routines I do that have helped with my allergy and sinus at-home care. I will also share some warning experiences I’ve had along the way.
Firstly I’d like to state I am not a doctor and don’t have any sort of medical degree I am simply sharing what experiences I have had and products that I praise. I would also like to mention that this pertains to environmental allergies not food allergies. I am sharing this information with you because sometimes doctors may steer you in the wrong direction. That is not to say that every doctor out there is wrong be cautious who you use, you yourself need to figure out what are the best options for you and what doctors you trust.
Suggestion, you should definitely be allergy tested if you are on medication all the time especially if your prescribed prednisone, antibiotics, even taking z-pack or Sudafed, don’t rely on these things or even constantly taking an addicting nasal spray. If you are sick a lot of the time try not to take prescriptions unless you absolutely need them. If you stick around I’ll share what I do for my allergy and sinus at-home care routine. I will be going over some things here but be forewarned that everyone is different and what may work for me may not work for everyone.
If you have not encountered a sinus infection you are lucky. I, on the other hand, have had years where I’ve had 1 sinus infection every other month for an entire year because each one lasted me 1.5 months, so every single time I was getting over my sinus infection I had maybe a week or so of clarity and right back to an infection. At that point, I was living in NJ (where I grew up) I had not been allergy tested up there.
When I moved away from NJ (to Florida) I realized there were definitely triggers in NJ (and probably all of the northeast) that gave me instant sinus infections. I barely had any warnings and POOF I’m sick. I slowly figured out that as much as I am proud to be a Jersey Girl, visiting had to be extremely limited.
As years went on the fewer times I visited up there the better I felt. My family thought well maybe it’s the airplane they are filthy ( I had masks on and cleaned with wet ones everywhere). Nope, not the plane did a few drives and still had nasty infections, so the northeast definitely has something I am allergic to. My point here is where you live could definitely be affecting your quality of life. Unfortunately, my particular solution is just to only visit the northeast if it is absolutely necessary. Otherwise, I will suffer for 2 months. I really don’t travel much because I dread the thought of a sinus infection, but now with COVID-19 goodbye traveling (germaphobe here).
Living in Florida I do still have an occasional allergy attack or shorter sinus infection here but not nearly as much or as long. In NJ doctors would throw antibiotics or prednisone at me, and that barely helped. I was tired of that life and the side effects. I finally had been allergy tested by my family doctor and they told me it was dust/dander, and basically a whole lot of trees/grasses I was allergic to. They told me about this option I hadn’t tried in the past, immunotherapy shots (an extremely popular option) unfortunately not an option for me. I was 6 months in and got one of the worst sinus infections of my life! At that point I started searching for sinus doctors thinking maybe that may be a better option.
I found a sinus doctor that was rated very well and recommended a lot so I decided to give him a try. This was a BAD IDEA. This doctor asked a bunch of questions pertaining to sleep apnea not sinuses and was boasting about how he either worked with Dr. Oz or was recommended by him. Either way I didn’t feel like he was going to help me. I can tell you I do not have sleep apnea because I sleep wonderful and this guy was trying to push me into surgery. Even though I wasn’t super comfortable with him I gave him the benefit of the doubt because I was desperate.
My mom and I continue to talk to this doctor and we are both a little on edge but we continue to listen. He tells me to buy these nasal things to open up my nasal passage when I sleep (my nose was fine by the way) so I tried them, they were horrible I didn’t fall asleep until I took them out. He also recommended this solution that I was supposed to squirt up my nose and let it come out of the other nostril (sort of like a Netti pot situation) and well I choked, no joke literally I choked. Side note, I had a surgery in the past for a deviated septum ( we did tell him this) which was probably why Netti pots never worked for me nor did this solution. The product they wanted me to use NEVER came out of the other nostril and I felt so sick I couldn’t breathe. The next day I called the Doctors office and explained what happened. The nurse Practitioner basically said to keep using this product even if I can’t breathe it will get better. At that point I completely lost faith in them. I then started on a search for an actual allergy doctor that wasn’t connected to my regular family doctor.
In my allergy doctor search I was suffering from a bad sinus infection at the time and my aunt recommended this saline solution that I had never heard of Xlear. She raved about it and I was like okay she’s a lot like me in the allergy and sinus department so I will have to give it a shot. Well this stuff is a godsend. At first, I am not going to lie I was a bit skeptical but as I continued to use it I found it to be a holy grail product.
Even though I was feeling better but not 100% I decided to go to this new allergy doctor they did new allergy tests on me and found more of the same from my previous test, no shock there but they asked better questions about my environment. I explained the Xlear product I was using which they never heard of but she said if it helps continue to use it but she does recommend Nasacort that will help me further and it is one of the lowest if not the lowest steroid count so I will not get addicted like some of the other brands out there. She also recommended I get rid of my upright vacuum and buy a canister vacuum that has a bag inside. She asked me to use a mattress cover that kept out dust mites as well as a pillowcase, which I already had.
As I was leaving she handed me this catalog that had a lot of products that help people with allergies. It had the usual run of the mill stuff like air purifier (little too expensive for me) vacuums, mattress, and pillow covers and then I saw this awesome allergy spray. I bought that right away, I use it every 2-3 months on soft surfaces around my home it’s the best. I highly recommend it because it kills dust mites! She did recommend taking an allergy medication as needed but I prefer the natural way so I really only use as needed and when I do its always Allegra!
I have been keeping up with that doctor for the most part. I went back a year ago and she was astounded at how clear my sinuses were. She told me unless I am feeling ill come in every 6 months to a year. I have been feeling pretty good so I have not been back yet this year. I am happy to report with my allergy and sinus at-home care routine I’ve been a lot better.
Wrapping it up with my favorite products
If you don’t already know, your allergies and sinuses are connected. For me if I can catch my allergy attack early on I can control it where a sinus infection does not take place. Besides using what the doctor recommended I wanted to stay away from Allegra so I found this brand called Boiron. Boiron is a homeopathic company and I love them! I use a few of their products but the ones specifically for allergies and sinuses are the ones I have been using in place of Allegra. Not everyone will love these but I feel they are a great product to give a shout too if you are trying to go the natural route.
Something else I have been doing for my at-home care routine is watching out for symptoms. If I start to feel a tickle in my throat, little swollen glands, or phlegm trying to make its way down my throat into my stomach (postnasal drip) I immediately do steam and this video I have linked below. The steam as well as drinking hot liquid will help thin the mucus and overall help you feel better. If you put essential oils in it they can help open your sinus passages even more. What you do is boil some water, enough for a small heatproof bowl, and then add just a drop or two of preferred essential oil (or skip them) grab a large towel and put your head underneath to breathe in the steam. You will start to clear up a little if you are congested. I like to do this for 10 mins 2 times a day when I feel the start of an allergy attack or sinus infection.
This video below is probably my favorite. If you saw my How to Naturally Relieve a Headache post you will know I like acupressure points. This video by Ask Dr. Adam, is specifically to help clear your nasal passage and help drain your sinuses which in turn helps your allergies because they are all connected. Definitely give this a try, at night I sometimes feel funky and I’ll do this before bed and I feel great in the morning. The video is great for preventive maintenance as well as if you’re sick.
Xlear, which I mentioned above this is more of an every day at-home care routine that will help you control your health better. Use the Xlear every day in the morning and at night as it will help clear your nose for the day and keep you less congested in the evenings. If you suffer from dry nostril it does help that very well too. If I am feeling a little sick or onset of a symptom I do this multiple times during the day, you can use it as often or little as you want. I do use Nasacort as it is a low steroid which I do feel has helped me a whole lot, it is probably the only non-homeopathic medicine I use.
Allertech Anti-Allergen Solution, this is amazing I use this on my mattress in-between mattress cover cleanings. I also use this on any soft surfaces like my drapes in my bedroom. If you have a fabric couch you can use it there. You can use it on area rugs! Anywhere that’s soft spray it once every 3 months and your covered from dust/dander allergy, I highly recommend it.
Boiron, as I mentioned above it is a homeopathic company. They have other products besides the RhinAllergy and the Sinus calm but those are two of my favorites. I would say I use the Sinus calm more as it pertains to my symptoms better. I do not use crazy amounts of either one, I usually use them at night since that’s when our bodies naturally heal.
More tips to help your allergy and sinus problems. A healthy diet, can help improve your issues. Keep an eye on pollutants, so when you check the weather go to the allergy forecast to see what’s high that day. Know your body is the best thing, get tested to know what your triggers are. If it is dust look into a different vacuum, get a mattress cover and a pillowcase cover to keep dust mites out. Again not all of these things may work for you but I find them to be extremely beneficial in my preventative maintenance. Some little changes can make the biggest difference!
Below are the products I use, when you click the images they will take you straight to the products. I hope this post helps you!
Hey there! I’m the owner & author of Life Is Homemade (the blog), as well as Mad About Madeleines. I hope you enjoyed some of the delicious recipes, how-to’s, DIYs, & product reviews I blogged about. Thank you for your previous support I hope you stick around on my new journey with Mad About Madeleines.