Just over 10 months ago I stopped having immunotherapy or allergy shots. Although they are undoubtedly the best at controlling my allergy symptoms, they weren't the most convenient, considering I had to try to book weekly doctor's appointments. Then there are the annoying side effects such as a sore injection site on my arm for a day or two. It was my second go at immunotherapy. This time I'd given it a good two-year try, but I'd simply had enough.
Not surprisingly, my allergies came back with a vengeance in winter. I soon found out that trying to control them with over-the-counter medications really adds up. Although I've always used home remedies such as vacuuming frequently, avoiding allergens or cigarette smoke and using a HEPA air filter. These measures only go so far. So I started to look around for some budget-friendly allergy products. Here are a few I found.
A blend of homeopathic ingredients, Pollinosan from A. Vogel helps to prevent sneezing, itchy throat and coughs caused by allergies. It also contains cardiospernum, or "heart weed," which helps to prevent runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing and sinus congestion. Pollinosan also won't leave you nodding off during the day. I had a dickens of a time trying to find it at a local pharmacy but was able to find a box of 120 tablets for just $7.20 online.
A Large Syringe
Nasal lavage, or washing out nasal passages with a warm saline solution, has been used to treat allergies for centuries. I didn't want to shell out for a Neti pot to use this treatment; instead, I use a syringe to squirt a solution of 1/3 tsp. of sea salt to 1 cup of distilled water into each nostril. You can buy large syringes cheaply at pharmacies, or even nab one for free at your local pharmacy from a sympathetic pharmacist. Remember to sterilize your syringe after each use to get rid of harmful bacteria. You need to replace it after two months of daily use.
Nasaline Snooze Nostril Expander
One of the worse aspects of having allergies is sleeping like a fish with my mouth wide open. It's led to many sore throats and mild infections over the years. Neither oral nor nasal decongestants are cheap, and they aren't good options for avoiding the use of medications. A more affordable alternative I found is the Nasaline Snooze Nostril Expander. As the name suggests, it expands your nostrils comfortably so you can breathe more easily. It's also reusable, unlike decongestants, so you save even more money and can use it throughout the day if necessary. The best price I've seen so far is at healthsuperstore. com where the pair costs just over $9.00.
Nasal Allergy Blocker
These products are creams or gels that you place inside each nostril to block a whole range of allergens on contact, such as dust mites, dander, pollen, ragweed and pet dander. Like oral antihistamines, you may need to try a few different formulas to find the one that works best for you. One I really like is Zicam, which you can get for just $5.98 on Amazon. Drugstore.com has also taken 30 percent off the Zicam Allergy Relief nasal gel. You can currently get it for just $8.69. Dr. Theiss Alergol Pollen Blocker Cream is available at HerbsPro for nearly 34 percent below retail price. A little of these creams or gels can go a long way. They can really help to keep your allergies, and your budget, under control.
Cheap Dust Mite Pillow Covers
Vacuuming pillows and mattresses to get rid of dust mites becomes a bore of a chore in a hurry, and make mattress and pillow covers must-haves. If you don't have the money to buy a mattress cover, then settle for buying just a pillow cover. Look for sales at your local department store or check out Allergy Control Products, which has standard-sized pillow encasings at $12.95, one of the lowest prices I've found. Also, Retail Me Not has coupons for 20 percent off all encasing products.
Keep in mind that you should consult your allergist before taking these products. Whenever possible, call a nearby pharmacy first to see if they have these products in stock. This will save you on shipping costs that you would have to pay when ordering online.
This has been a guest post by Andrea from Ontario, Canada
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