Five Natural Remedies For Nasal Allergies

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Breathing is basic to life, and allergies are an awful intrusion on the easy, regular, deep breathing we all need to stay active and healthy. Fortunately, there are many ways to breathe easier despite nasal allergies without expensive, sedating allergy drugs. Here are my top 5:

1. Use steroid nasal sprays sparingly if at all. Yes, they really work, but the have serious side effects.

Beconase AQ (beclomethasone), Flonase (fluticasone), Nasacort AQ (triamcinolone), Nasarel (flunisolie), Nasonex (mometasone), and Rhinocort Aqua (budesonide) supposedly offer the benefits of steroids for controlling allergies without the risks, namely, high blood pressure, stunted growth in children, osteoporosis in older adults, and a very long list of other potential complications.

The problem with these nose sprays is, other than the fact that they are very expensive, is that in rare instances they can cause nasal perforation (a whole between the nostrils), and more commonly they induce the very burning, irritation, sore throat, headache, nosebleed, and dry sinuses they are supposed to prevent.

2. Get your antihistamines from foods rather than the pharmacy.

Instead of pharmaceutical antihistamines like Benadryl (diphyenhydramine), Dimetapp and Dimetane (brompheniramine), Chlor-Trimeton (chlorpheniramine), Allegra (frexofenadine), Clarniex (desloratadine), or Zyrtec (certirizine), consider their natural alternatives.

Quercitin, a plant compound you can get from grapefruit or from eating an apple with the peel, is chemically similar to NasalCrom (cromolyn sodium); in fact, the active ingredient in NasalCrom was first found in bishops weed, an herb that is rich in quercitin. British studies have found that eating just one apple a week lowers the frequency of allergies.

You can also get some allergy relief from vitamin C, but it wears off quickly. Its better to get 3-4 doses of 500 mg or even less throughout the day than to get one dose of 1,000-2,000 mg all at once.

3. Stop nasal allergies at their source.

If you got poison ivy every week, would it make sense to get a six months prescription for prednisone or maybe to stay out of the poison ivy? The same principle applies to ongoing nasal allergies at home. It doesnt make sense to take medication constantly if you can stop allergies at their source. HEPA filters can remove mold and dust mites and nearly all pollen and cat dander. Even better, combine a HEPA filter with a dehumidifier. The combination greatly reduces mold spore counts.

4. And if you cant afford to stop allergies at the source with an expensive HEPA filter, try an inexpensive HEPA filter.

The drawback to HEPA filtration is that you probably cant install it yourself, and its expensive. Your next best method for cleaning the air you breathe indoors is an electronic air filter. You dont need an ozone generator, because ozone is damaging to the lungs. And if you cant afford either a HEPA filter or an electronic air cleaner, consider a do-it-yourself air filter such as 3Ms Filtrete for around $25 US. You can fit these into your existing air return system in place of any old-fashioned filter that may now be in use.

5. Dont just clean your air, clean your floors (and especially your carpets).

Cleaning the air is only half the battle. You also need to clean your floors with a vacuum cleaner. What you want to avoid in choosing your vacuum cleaner is getting that sucks up dust through one end and sends out in the exhaust through the other. Vacuums with their own, smaller HEPA filters are much more expensive but go a long way toward cleaning up the air in your home.

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