Compared to 2018, this year's allergy season has been a relative breeze. We haven't seen any horrifying videos of trees exploding with pollen. And most people have adjusted to the warmer air with minimal trouble.
But for many (including this author), allergies remain an ongoing problem, leading to coughing, sneezing and sore throat, well into the summer months. So, unless you choose to stay indoors all summer, we recommend facing allergies head on. And there are FSA-eligible products that can help you get ahead of these summer irritations.
Since Memorial Day is coming up this weekend, let's take a closer look at some items to make things a little easier once cookout season starts.
With so much warmth and humidity in the air each summer, it seems weird that anyone would want a machine that provides more warm, humid air. But the bottom line is that they're a huge help for alleviating summer allergy, cold and flu symptoms.
There are plenty of FSA-eligible steam inhalers for both adults and children that can help open nasal passages, and clear the nasty buildup that causes sore throats and stuffy heads, while also alleviating some of the pain that comes with them.
Hot and cold packs
Sometimes the best way to attack your allergy problems is from the outside in. Through simple hot or cold compresses (which come in a wide range of shapes and styles) people find all-natural relief from sinus headaches, nasal pressure and sore throat pain, just by holding them against the affected areas.
Pain and allergy medications
There's a huge range of allergy medications available that do a good job getting you through stuffy noses, sneezing, scratchy, dry throats and more. And when your sore throat moves beyond comfortable levels, standard pain medications usually do the trick for longer-term relief. To ease things a little more quickly, medicated throat lozenges can make a world of difference, too.
Mattress and pillow covers
There's a chance your ongoing sore throat might actually be coming from inside your house. On top of pollen and other environmental allergens, dust mites also become a bigger problem during spring and summer months. No, it's not a comfortable topic, but these microscopic annoyances thrive in warmer summer weather, and can keep your allergy problems going well into fall.
Anti-allergy mattress and pillow covers put a barrier between you and the dust and germs beneath the surface, and help contain them, to help reduce your symptoms.
Allergies are a topic we cover quite a bit, because they continue to affect many people, long after the "season" ends. Thankfully, there are a lot of products available to make it easier on you all summer long.
If your symptoms don't improve or become more severe, speak with an allergist to ensure medications and treatments are right for your symptoms. To locate an allergist, visit the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology website for a list of specialists near you.
Steam inhalers provide pure, therapeutic, warm mist effectively free from germs, allergens, and pollutants.
Hot packs provide long lasting therapeutic heat to relieve minor muscle aches.
From Over-the-Counter tablets to saline spray to nasal rinse, relief from allergies is right around the corner.
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Do you suffer from seasonal allergies? If so, then you know that the first several weeks of spring can be the most trying time for allergy sufferers. As trees bud, flowers bloom, and grass begins to germinate, pollen levels will soar and simply stepping outdoors can trigger watery eyes, a runny nose and a day's worth of sneezing fits.
While over-the-counter allergy medicines like antihistamines and decongestants are a great start to curb your allergy symptoms, there are a number of simple tricks to keep up your sleeve for those days when allergic reactions are at their worst. Here are a few anti-allergy life hacks to keep in mind before allergens are at their peak.
- Eat local honey
One of the oldest natural allergy remedies is the ingestion of local honey, which acts as a type of natural vaccination against seasonal allergies. Local honey contains a variety of the same pollen spores that are present when flowers and grasses bloom in your area, and introducing these spores in small amounts to the body can build up its natural immunity. This can limit the body's immune response of histamine production when exposed to allergens, and this daily dose of honey could be an effective means of controlling your symptoms this allergy season.
- Practice saltwater irrigation
Salt water irrigation through the use of Neti pots is one of the best natural remedies to alleviate allergy symptoms. These devices are used by millions of Americans to treat sinus problems, provide relief from nasal congestion in the event of a cold or virus, or to clear out breathing passages during the height of allergy season.
Neti pots utilize a nasal saline solution that mixes salt and warm water to thin nasal secretions and flush out bacteria/allergens/environmental irritants to help curb seasonal allergy symptoms. Aim to use saltwater irrigation twice a day during allergy season.
- Indulge in sushi
If you're contending with allergy symptoms in the early spring, stop into a sushi restaurant and ask for extra wasabi! This pungent green paste is already great for opening up your nasal passages and helping you breathe more easily, but it also fights inflammation naturally. Ingestion of wasabi can limit the body's production of histamine and can reduce the effects of seasonal allergy symptoms.
- Enjoy some green tea
When allergy season kicks off, make the switch to green tea each morning to provide your immune system with a boost against allergens. Green tea contains natural antihistamines to combat the body's immune response to the presence of allergens, and it can be a great addition to your spring diet to combat sneezing and nasal congestion.
- Stay hydrated
Drinking enough water throughout the day supports a wide range of physiological functions, and this holds special significance for those who suffer from seasonal allergies. Being dehydrated sparks the release of histamine in the body to prevent future water loss, which can contribute to the worsening of allergy symptoms. Make an effort to increase your water consumption in the early spring to lessen the severity of allergy symptoms.
This allergy season, make sure you're ready with FSA eligible Allergy, Sinus & Combinations at FSAstore.com! We have the web's largest selection of FSA eligible items to help you maximize the potential of your employee benefits.
Claritin 24 Hour Non Drowsy Allergy Relief
Enjoy 24 hours of relief from itchy watery eyes as well as sneezing and an itchy throat.