It’s taken me forever to write this post because guess what? I’ve been feeling awful for some time now. I’m told that ragweed is high this year in North Texas because of all the rain they had earlier this summer. I was not here for this rain, and I haven’t seen any rain since I got here, so I’ll assume the locals know what they are talking about. But there is certainly something in the air that is absolutely driving me insane.

I’m feeling better now, so I thought I’d share a few of the over the counter things I’ve done to help out. While I’ve always suffered from allergies, I think the move to a new climate has really made them freak out, so I’ve had to do much more than usual to keep them under control.

Here we go:

  1. Encase pillows and mattresses: the new allergy covers for pillows and mattresses aren’t like the old ones, with serious plastic on one side and no breathability. The new versions boast tighter woven cotton so that micro-particles won’t get through. Gone are the days where you wake up with a sweaty head or body from lying on your plastic allergy linens.
  2. Antihistamines: these are tricky, because some work for some people and others don’t. When you find one that works, it’s like heaven. But a few things to note: some allergy medications work best when you take them all the time, versus only when you have acute symptoms, and others can make you very, very sleepy. The most effective I’ve found is Benadryl, which knocks me out. After a day or two of doses every four hours, I seem to build up a tolerance to the drowsy side effects, and just reap the benefits.
  3. Allergy eye drops: I’ve discussed this before, in regards to dark circles under the eyes, but my eyes have been itching like no one’s business, along with the allergy shiners. These drops have been a lifesaver, and has saved many a makeup application, because I’m a rubber. I will rub my eyes in a hot second if they itch.
  4. Dehumidifiers: these are great if you have problems with mold, fungus, or dust mites. I can’t use one here because it’s already so dry, but in a more humid climate, they can be lifesavers.
  5. Eucalyptus essential oil: This is not one of those snake-oil pitches. I discovered eucalyptus essential oil when my massage therapist put a tissue under my headrest. Worked like a charm.
  6. Vicks Vapo Rub: along the same lines as the eucalyptus oil, I’ve used this at night to help me breathe. It really seems to help.
  7. Breathe Right Strips: another great thing to use at night. These strips actually help you breathe by opening the nostrils more. I like these when I’m only mildly congested and my husband is gone.
  8. Sinus Rinse Kit: otherwise known as a neti pot. This is actually a Yogi technique that is quite old. Using a container with a spout, you simply mix water and saline and then put the spout in one nostril and let the water flow through and come out the other nostril. It’s weird at first, but is actually kind of addicting. My allergy doctor from back in the day recommended it with Alkalol.

And that’s my arsenal for allergies. I try and practice avoidance if I can, such as covering my pillow because I’m allergic to dust mites, then I try natural products like the Breathe Right strips and eucalyptus oil, and if those don’t work, then I’ll go to my Benadryl. I do, however, take Zyrtec on the regular, because life is crappy when you’re allergic to dust mites. I’ve tried the shots and didn’t like them because they seemed to make me tired.

Enjoy my 20 years of learning to deal with seasonal allergies!

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