I’ve had nasal allergies for most of my life. From first grade up through now, I’ve bounced back and forth through various types of medicine, a variety of symptoms, and unpredictable outcomes.
My most recent regimen of meds was Flonase, Zyrtec, and, added just before Esme was born, Astelin. Together, These three seemed to take care of my symptoms pretty well.
However, one day recently I was playing around with Google Health. I had imported my prescription records, and it popped up some notices for me that the three medicines I was taking were from the same family, and that it didn’t recommend taking more than two at a time.
I also started reading about some side effects of the medications, particularly Astelin, and began to think about some things I’d recently been feeling: lethargic, grumpy, unmotivated, gaining weight. I had written these off as post-baby situational stress and symptoms. However, I realized that they matched up pretty well with the symptoms that other people had been reporting.
At that point, I made the decision to go cold turkey on my allergy medicines. Within a day or two, I felt that I had more energy and was not as grumpy as I had been recently. But I was still feeling my allergy symptoms. So I started to look into an option I’d been thinking about for a while: the Neti Pot. My friend Amy Walton had recommended it several years ago, but in my pride I asserted that modern allergy medicines were the best way to go and that I wasn’t going to have anything to do with pouring salt water down my nose.
Well, I’ve been using a Neti Pot for almost two weeks now, and I have to apologize to Amy: you were right. This thing is amazing! After the very first time using it, my nose felt better, and my symptoms went away. I used it two or three times a day the first week, and since then I’ve cut back a bit. I actually haven’t used it since last Thursday, and I still feel fine!
The real test will come this summer, when my allergies have typically been in full bloom. I suspect that I’ll need to use the Neti Pot more often to get things cleared out. But I’d much rather do that than take drugs that have potentially undesirable side effects! And it costs less, too! The Neti Pot kit I got was only $10 and came with 30 packets of saline mixture. You can buy a 100-pack for under $15, which should last a couple months. Or you can make your own solution at home! In any case, it’s cheaper than the $55/month I had been paying for my allergy medicine, and thus far, it seems to work even better!
So to all of the nasal allergy sufferers who haven’t yet tried the Neti Pot… give it a go! I think you’ll be glad you did.