As many of my fellow Louisvillians know, living in the Ohio River Valley is not fun if you have allergies. In fact, some people discover that they have allergies only after moving here because the pollen count is so bad (like my wife). I used to suffer from seasonal allergies in Halifax, but only needed to take a Benadryl once in a while. This year, I moved up to taking an Allegra (or the generic equivalent) every day, and still having some problems with stuffiness.
After suffering with the stuffiness even on meds, I decided to try rinsing out my nasal cavities (see Neti Pots for further information). But I didn't want to spend any amount of money on either a Neti Pot or the plastic squeeze bottles. Thinking about possible alternatives I remembered the little squeeze bulbs we use to remove mucus from my son's nasal cavities when he has a cold:
These things are relatively cheap, and combined with this recipe:
3 tsp iodine free salt (pickling or kosher salt)
1 tsp baking soda
Mix together and store in a container
When needed, mix 1/2 tsp with 8oz water (pre-boiled or distilled)
Every morning for the past 4 days (not quite a week, but still) I have been squirting this solution up into my sinuses to clean them out (two bulbs worth per side). I admit it is not really fun, but its not that bad either. I haven't taken an allergy pill since Sunday, and I haven't had any serious allergy symptoms, apart from some mild congestion and eye watering when I was walking from the bus yesterday afternoon.
I really like the fact that I'm not taking more drugs (not that I take that many, but the fewer the better, really), and that it costs much less than the pills as well ($1.50 for 4lbs of pickling salt, and not much for baking soda, a lot cheaper than the $.5/day I was spending on allergy meds).
Although the idea of sticking the bulb up your nose to rinse snot out might seem gross, if you suffer from regular allergies, then what have you got to lose?