Love is in the air. Plant love that is. Literally. Pollen is all around you and if you have seasonal allergies it can make you miserable. Pollen is the equivalent of the little boy parts that plants need to have sex. When you inhale those little boy parts it doesn’t end well for you or the plant. The plant doesn’t reproduce and you feel terrible.
You can’t do anything about the plant’s reproduction problems but you can tackle how you feel by rinsing that pollen out of your nose before it can cause problems. If you’ve never used nasal irrigation for pollen allergies, here’s a dummies’ guide to nasal irrigation to get you started.
The Pollen Problem
In Spring, Summer, and Fall plants are busy trying to reproduce to ensure future generations. Some plants have the male and female parts on the same plant; other plants need a mechanism for getting the boy parts (the pollen) to the girl parts (the flowers).
Some plants solve the problem by producing beautiful, showy flowers or sweet nectar that attracts bees, wasps, hummingbirds, or other creatures to transport the pollen. Lazy plants don’t put effort into attracting pollinators; they just produce copious amounts of pollen and let the wind do the work.
The wind doesn’t care where it deposits the pollen, it spreads it everywhere. The plants compensate for this by producing incredible numbers of pollen grains. The plants play a game of numbers. The more pollen they put into the wind the greater chances of some of it landing on a female plant.
When you go outside during pollen season, the wind blows the pollen into your hair, on your clothes and it sticks to your skin. Even worse, you inhale the pollen.
Your nasal passages have small hairs assigned the job of keeping out evil invaders (such as demon pollen) but sometimes pollen can make it through and sometimes those small hairs need a little help. That’s where nasal irrigation for pollen allergy comes in.
How Nasal Irrigation Works
The oldest form of irrigation is the neti pot. It was developed in ancient India. The word “neti” is Sanskrit for “nasal cleansing”. The yogis thought that a clear nose was crucial for clear thinking. If you have allergies, you would agree!
Nasal irrigation gently floods the nasal passages with a liquid solution that removes particles. Not only does the rinsing process remove pollen, but it also reduces inflammation. This makes breathing easier. Ideally, you use a saline solution (more on this later).
Nasal irrigation takes what we know about physical science (gravity) and applies it to what we know about anatomy (the nose is divided by the septum). The result is a simple at-home procedure that uses a small amount of pressure to push water up one nostril and over the septum where gravity can pull it down. It’s not hard; it’s not gross. and it does bring relief.
Step by Step Guide for Nasal Irrigation
This is what you’re here for; the fool-proof, step by step guide. We promised; we deliver!
Mix Your Solution. Always start with a sterile saline solution. You can use table salt, but do you really think the salt in your kitchen is sterile? I mean it has been hanging out in your pantry. You can buy packets or bottles of saline solution made for nasal irrigation. They are easy, cheap, and sterile.
Assume Your Position. Lean forward over the sink and then turn your head at a 45-degree angle. Tilt your head slightly so that one nostril is pointed back. Do NOT tilt your head backward.
Start Your Rinse. Place the tip of your nasal irrigator in the top nostril. Open your mouth slightly and start breathing through your mouth. Gently squeeze the solution out of the bottle. It will flow up the nostril, over your septum and drain down into the sink. As it does it will rinse away pollen, dust, and dried mucous and anything else stuck in your nose. Remember to breathe through your mouth during the process.
Spit Don’t Swallow. Let all the fluid drain from your nostril into the sink. If some of the solution gets in your throat or mouth spit it out. Do not swallow the solution. Swallowing sterile saline solution will not hurt you, but it can make you sick to your stomach.
Blow and Repeat. Gently blow air out of your nose over the sink to remove the last bits of water and icky pollen.
Nasal Irrigation Options
When it comes to nasal irrigation for pollen allergy, you’ve got choices. You can use the traditional neti pot or an easy to use squeeze bottle system like the SinuAir Nasal Wash System.
If you are into the latest equipment, check out the SinuPulse Elite Nasal Irrigation System. It’s like nasal irrigation for pollen but with added technology. The SinuPulse uses electronic technology to control the flow of water to create a pulsating flow or a fine mist.
Don’t Let Pollen Poop Your Party
Pollen is going to be around from now until late in the fall. Don’t let pollen get you down. Just get rid of it with nasal irrigation therapy. Those little hairs in your nose will appreciate the big assist and you will feel better. You might even find you sleep better at night and have more energy. You’ll certainly breathe easier!
Wishing you the best of health,
The Allergy Store