My allergy season has officially begun. Six months of a runny/stuffy nose, sinus headaches, gross stuff running down my throat and overall yuckiness.
Location, Location, Location
I didn’t have allergies when I lived in the coastal valleys of California. I used to laugh at my brothers who did. Oh, I’d get the occasional sinus itch, but I never affected my ability to breath or enjoy the outdoors.
Then I moved to a desert climate and, abbrah cadabbra, allergies. I’m not talking mild discomfort. I’m talking massive amounts of gross green stuff packed into my sinus cavities, swelling in my nose and throat, red itchy eyes, skin rashes, pressure headaches, and the inability to breath if my head was not fully erect. I have actually had to sleep upright in a chair or spend the night gagging and gasping for breath because of my bodies zealous mucus production. Have I moved? No. And I am not planning to. Besides the allergies I like it here in Utah and as long as I live in town it’s not as bad.
Prescription or OTC
This is a question that has been debated by allergy sufferers, doctors and pharmacists for ever. I’ve used prescription nasal sprays, inhalers, and pills for my allergies but they don’t work reliably and eventually they stop working. I was never really impressed with any of the ones that I tried.
I have had the best results with over-the-counter medications and natural remedies. Simple Benadryl takes care of most of the itching in my eyes, nose and throat. It also keeps the mucus levels down. Steam and vicks are great for swelling and discomfort. Mint tea (I prefer peppermint) works the best for breaking up the mucus that collects in and runs down your throat. It also does wonders for the gripy tummy all this nasty stuff causes. Lemon tea and honey is great for sore throats. If all else fails and the sinus pressure and congestion get out of control there is always my backup. Hot peppers. Fresh jalapeno seem to work the best for me. Do I eat them plain? No. I put them in my food. Chili, hot wings, soups, bean dip, etc. are great ways to consume hot peppers. You get the sinus clearing, eye watering effect without completely burning your taste buds off. Keep milk, cheese and bread handy in case the heat is overwhelming. They are also an excellent topping for an open-faced grilled tuna and cheese.
Since it is now recommended that we do NOT give any medications to our children under 6 years-of-age parents have a dilemma. What do you do with a child that is sick, congested, coughing, running green and vomiting massive amounts of mucus? I recommend the natural remedies above. I would leave out the peppers though. They may balk at the tea, but with a little (lot) extra sugar or honey it is not bad. The teas can be used for newborns and infants if you water it down to 1 part tea and 3 parts water. Interestingly enough, these natural remedies work better than all the medications we used to give our children.
For allergy sufferers tissues are in high demand. We often go through an entire box in a single day at our house. Sometimes two. The downside to constant tissue use is a red nose and raw spots from wiping. We usually have a box in every room in the house and on all headboards. This is when I would recommend the lotion tissues, they are wonderful for sore noses. Empty tissue boxes are great for portable used tissue disposal. One of these days I think I will invest in tissue stocks. Maybe I can make enough to pay for all the tissues we use.
Cocaine Nails and Brain Suckers
Okay so this is where a lot of people may stop reading. Booker checks are a disgusting but necessary part of parenting small children. If boogers become hard they will not come out of the nose no matter how well your child can blow. Sometimes they are so big that it takes some effort to get them out. This is where the cocaine nail comes in handy. Make sure you have at least two tissues handy because once the booger is dislodged it becomes a comet with a long green tail. If the mucus is thick enough it will actually gag the child as it is pulled up from the back of the throat.
What are brain suckers? These are the little bulbs things that the hospital sends home with you. It is depressed and then carefully inserted in the nose. As the brain sucker expands it sucks out all that yucky mucus. While these can be a parent’s friend, babies absolutely hate them. However, if you do not suck out enough of the child’s brains they do not develop properly.
Not the Tongue!
If you have ever been around cows you have probably seen them stick their tongue up their nose to clean it out. Children also use this practice. If their nose is running they will often lick it clean rather than get a tissue. Many children will pick their nose and eat it. While we, as parents, are totally grossed out by this it will not kill the child. There are many debates on this practice, but I don’t care. It is gross. I am actually feeling nauseous typing this. Patience and readily available tissues can solve this problem. So can closing your eyes.
As I ponder the coming of allergy season and the effects it will have on my family and me all I can do is <SIGH>. Life moves on and we cope as best we can.
Anyone have some good remedy suggestions? Please share. We allergy sufferers must join together to promote better breathing.
Have a great weekend!