Itchy eyes and nose and raspy throat keeping you awake at night and uncomfortable all day? Spring allergies can be more than just a nuisance. Too often, they can lead to sinus infections.
There is a simple (if messy) method for removing the allergens from one's nose and getting relief without taking medication. It's called nasal irrigation. In other words: "wash that pollen right out of your nose!" with a soothing saline solution.
Seriously. It really helps. Medical nurses even recommend it for helping to prevent colds and flu.
An excellent video from the Univ Michigan's Health System explains the benefits and shows how easy it is to do. And, it makes an important distinction: using saline mist/sprays is NOT the same as nasal irrigation. Here is their video with good, specific instructions:
Dr. Weil and Dr. Oz also promote the practise. Here are Dr. Weil's instructions:
"You'll probably need to do it a few times before you feel comfortable with this procedure, but once you do, it can be a big help. Dissolve one-quarter teaspoon of salt in one cup of warm water. Pour some of the salted water into your cupped hand and inhale the liquid through one nostril at a time, keeping the other one closed with an index finger. You can inhale directly from a small cup or glass in the same way, or you can use a rubber bulb to gently squirt the solution into your nostrils. You can also get a neti pot, a ceramic container resembling a miniature Aladdin's lamp sold in health food stores. Whatever method you choose, the goal is to get enough water in through your nose so that you can spit it from your month. Do this several times through each nostril, then gently blow your nose."