How to Survive Seasonal Allergies.
With April showers & May flowers comes the worst of seasonal allergies…
I struggle with allergies all year round, but the worst is when everything starts blooming. Lately, I’ve been the girl with swollen & puffy eyes, an itchy throat leading to coughing fits so severe I pray I don’t pee my pants, & the kind of congestion that makes it hard to catch my breath, period. Yes, I struggle with the best of ’em… but through my years of allergy struggles, I’ve developed a few tips & tricks to make surviving the seasonal sort actually attainable.
01. wash your face.
Washing my face is one of the first things I do when I walk in the door at the end of the day. Not only do I love the feeling of clean skin that can breathe, but it really helps to combat itchy, swollen eyes. & that makes sense: allergens & bacteria stick to your skin & your eyelashes all day long, & it can really help to provide immediate relief by washing your face.
rinse & repeat.
I’m a double cleanse kind of girl. First I wash with a cleansing oil, which helps to dissolve & remove the day’s makeup & oil, then I follow up with my favorite cleanser. Making sure I remove my eye makeup completely, & then rinse out my eyes helps with the red, watery, swollen allergy symptoms as well. This rinse & repeat step will loosen the allergens from the inside of my eyes & helps to flush them out.
02. a cold compress.
When double cleansing just isn’t enough to do the trick, I try a cold compresses around my eyes to help with itching & swelling. Soak a towel or washcloth in cold water, or refrigerate a damp cloth or eye pillow. Then lie down, with the compress across your eyes, to let the coolness reduce swelling.
03. visit the pharmacy.
There are a few items from the pharmacy that I have learned that I just can’t live without:
- an over-the-counter eye drop – made to soothe itchy, swollen eyes & to take the red out.
- an antihistamine + decongestant – my favorite is 24-hour Allegra D. As much as I hate the idea of taking medication regularly & I’m the absolute worst at swallowing pills, it really has been life-changing for me!
- a nasal spray – a few years ago I had sinus surgery, due to my allergies being so severe that I struggled with chronic sinus infections. (If you think allergies are hard to handle… back-to-back sinus infections make you start thinking crazy & irrational things, I swear!) My surgeon suggested I use Flonase daily, to help keep sinus polyps from building up & aiding in keeping the infections away.
- a neti pot – OK, if you’ve never used one… this is really gross & now you’ve been warned. & if you have, you know exactly what I’m talking about. My sinus surgery required me to use a neti pot multiple times a day to help heal faster, & it is the key to treating a sinus infection without turning to antibiotics. Any time I find myself feeling like sinus pressure is building I start flushing my sinuses morning & night, & I swear it shortens the time I’m down with the sickness.
04. stay indoors.
On the days when the pollen count is high & it’s a bit breezy, I know I can count on my allergies giving me heck. I live for the great outdoors & when the weather is nice, I try to soak it up as much as possible… but there are some days when air conditioning is my bff, & I just have to embrace it!
05. waterproof eye makeup.
My favorite mascaras & eye liners are not of the waterproof variety. I feel like my lashes get dried out & require a little extra tlc to remove them. But every summer I make the switch to waterproof, anyway. Between itchy, watery eyes & sweating in the sunshine, switching out my eye makeup line-up is a trick I’ve come to rely on.