Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Conifer Pollen and the Neti Pot

You can see the pollen actually floating in the air. It settles like dust on everything.

The car windshield is covered and when I use the wind shield wipers and the squirt, squirt to clean it off it leaves behind a thin yellow paste.

Last night, Jake played tennis. Each time the ball hit the court, there would be an impact mark and a corresponding explosion of pollen.

I wouldn't necessarily know that it is conifer pollen except that Shea brushed against a small pine while we walked in the woods and it puffed out with a large yellow cloud.

Today it is raining lightly, so the pollen settles down and isn't as apparent. But, we are to have clear, warm weather for the next week of so.

Allergy symptoms? Not me. My spring allergies must be something else. Grass? Probably. It hits late May and lasts pretty much all through June. Scratchy eyes, runny nose, itchy sinuses; the whole nine yards. I never had them until I turned about 40, now it is like clockwork every year.

I have tried a variety of naturopathic remedies including the Neti pot. I never thought I would be brave enough to poor liquid up my nose. But, the itchy sinuses were so awful, I gave it a shot. It has to be the most counter intuitive thing to do to yourself but it did actually help. It takes a little practice but I have gotten good at it.

A few tips:

I use a basic saline solution: cup of water and tsp. of salt
Be sure to use warm water, not HOT and definately not COLD
Tip your head slightly away from the neti pot
Do not tip head too far forward or to far back. You will know when it is just right.

It is an acquired skill and does take a little practice. Yes, it is wierd but it does work. And, it is the only thing I have found that sooths my itchy sinuses.

But, honestly, last year it was so bad, I ended up buckling and taking an over the counter allergy medicine anyway. I tried them all and found one that worked for me. I bought a bunch so I could keep it on hand and will probably use it again this year if it is as bad.

There is something pretty horribly debilitating about a good solid month of allergies. And, it's not like I can get away from the grass!

So, we try everything around here.

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