How to deal with allergy symptoms

Springtime allergies are a common scourge for many people, and sometimes allergy medicines don’t help when you’re being assaulted by things like pollen and pet dander. With that in mind, here are a few ways to help relieve the symptoms, and a few things you should avoid.

With particles floating all around they are sure to make you sneeze eventually. Graphic by Brittani Carter.
With particles floating all around they are sure to make you sneeze eventually. Graphic by Brittani Carter.

Puffy eyes:

What to do: There’s a great video on how to reduce eye swelling here. If you choose not to use cucumbers like in the video, then you can use water. It won’t have the same effect as using cucumber juice, but it will reduce redness. Also, contact wearers: switch to glasses for a few days, at least until your eyes calm down.

What NOT to do: Don’t use makeup to try and cover it up. A light concealer will do (I’d suggest using a green one if your eyes get really red), but don’t use eyeshadow or eyeliner. Try to stay away from your lashline when you use concealer, otherwise your current allergies might get worse.

Cracked, dry nose:

What to do: There’s nothing less appealing than seeing someone with scabs all over their nose, and it’s not very comfortable for the afflicted person either. Grab some Vaseline or some unscented lotion and slather it all over your nose. (If you’ve got scabs on the inside of your nose, get a Q-tip and rub it in there). Wait a few hours, and you should be able to take a Q-tip and scrape the skin off your nose. Also, you can use cucumber pads around your sinus area to help with the swelling. If your lips are dry as well, use your favorite lip balm (my favorite is the Nivea lip butters, which you can get at the Radford University bookstore if you really need it quickly) and try to use lotion after you shower in the evenings.

What NOT to do: I know it’s counter-intuitive, but don’t go for an expensive, nice-smelling lotion when you do this. You don’t want that perfume getting into your scabs. It will sting, and your nasal allergies might get worse with perfume right up in your face. Also, don’t use a heavy foundation base. It’ll cover up the scabs, but the dry skin around your nose will become more visible.

Nasal allergies:

What to do: Take a nice, hot shower. Then, take a big bowl (one you might put pasta in), fill it with hot saltwater and bend your head over the surface. I don’t know why this works, but it does. Also, sleep on your side.

What NOT to do: Don’t blow your nose too frequently. It’ll lead to the dry-cracked-nose problem mentioned earlier, and no one wants that.

Sore throat:

What to do: Drink something hot. Some people like coffee, others like hot cocoa; I personally like green tea, mixed with honey and lemon. Also, a nice, hot shower does wonders for a sore throat and nasal allergies.

What NOT to do: Don’t eat any ice cream. It will make the mucus in your throat thicken, which isn’t good at all.

Remember there are various things you can do to treat your allergy symptoms as well things you can avoid to not make them any worse. By incorporating some of the techniques above you can get through allergy season in one piece.