Nasal Rinse to Treat Seasonal Allergies

Seasonal allergies affect millions of people every year, causing symptoms such as runny nose, sneezing, itchy eyes, and congestion. While there are numerous over-the-counter and prescription medications available to treat these symptoms, some people prefer to seek natural remedies. One such remedy is saline nasal rinsing, which involves flushing out the nasal passages with a solution of salt and water. In this blog post, we will explore how saline nasal rinse can help with seasonal allergies.

What is Saline Nasal Rinse?

Saline nasal rinse, also known as nasal irrigation or sinus rinse, is a technique used to clear the nasal passages of excess mucus and irritants. The process involves using a saline solution, which is a mixture of salt and water, to rinse out the nasal cavities. This can be done using a neti pot, squeeze bottle, or bulb syringe.

How Does Saline Nasal Rinse Help with Seasonal Allergies?

Seasonal allergies occur when the immune system overreacts to pollen from trees, grasses, and weeds. This can cause inflammation in the nasal passages, leading to symptoms such as congestion, runny nose, and sneezing. Saline nasal rinse can help alleviate these symptoms in several ways:

  1. Clears out allergens and irritants: Saline nasal rinse helps to flush out allergens and irritants that can trigger seasonal allergies. By removing these substances from the nasal passages, the body is less likely to mount an immune response, which can reduce the severity of allergy symptoms.

  2. Reduces inflammation: Saline nasal rinse can help to reduce inflammation in the nasal passages by flushing out excess mucus. This can alleviate symptoms such as congestion and improve breathing.

  3. Moisturizes the nasal passages: Saline nasal rinse can help to moisturize the nasal passages, which can reduce irritation and dryness. This can help alleviate symptoms such as itching and burning in the nose.

  4. Improves the effectiveness of medications: Saline nasal rinse can help to improve the effectiveness of medications used to treat seasonal allergies. By clearing out excess mucus and allergens, medications such as antihistamines and decongestants can better reach the nasal passages, where they are needed most.

How to Use Saline Nasal Rinse for Seasonal Allergies

Using saline nasal rinse for seasonal allergies is a simple process that can be done at home. Here are the steps:

  1. Prepare the saline solution: Mix one teaspoon of salt with eight ounces of warm water. Make sure the water is sterile or distilled.

  2. Fill the neti pot, squeeze bottle, or bulb syringe with the saline solution.

  3. Tilt your head forward over a sink and turn it to the side.

  4. Insert the spout of the neti pot, squeeze bottle, or bulb syringe into one nostril, and gently squeeze or pour the saline solution into the nostril.

  5. Allow the saline solution to flow through your nasal passages and out the other nostril. Breathe through your mouth during this process.

  6. Repeat the process with the other nostril.

  7. Blow your nose gently to remove any excess saline solution and mucus.

It is recommended to use saline nasal rinse once or twice a day, or as directed by a healthcare provider. It is important to use sterile or distilled water to avoid introducing bacteria or other contaminants into the nasal passages.

Saline nasal rinse is a natural remedy that can help alleviate symptoms of seasonal allergies. By flushing out allergens and irritants, reducing inflammation, moisturizing the nasal passages, and improving the effectiveness of medications, saline nasal rinse can provide relief for people who suffer from seasonal allergies. If you are considering using saline nasal rinse for seasonal allergies, be sure to check in with your doctor to see which solution is best for you.

Photo by Alex Jones on Unsplash

Top 4 Seasonal Allergy Mistakes

Allergies (also called “allergic rhinitis” or “hay fever”) are nothing to sneeze at -- just ask the approximately 50 million people in the U.S. who suffer from them. If you have seasonal allergies, watch out for common mistakes that could aggravate them, says Dr. James L. Sublett, section chief of the pediatric allergy department at the University of Louisville School of Medicine in Kentucky. Steer clear of these four most common slipups, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

1. Common Mistake: You treat symptoms without knowing what you’re allergic to.
Many allergy sufferers are so desperate for relief that they start taking their allergy medications before they have a chance to identify their triggers. This may be why patients report that over-the-counter medications are ineffective more than half the time, says Sublett.

Simple Solution: Get tested.
Before you assume that your allergy medicine isn’t working, make an appointment with a board-certified allergist. (Find one near you at “The allergist can perform skin testing, which is the most accurate way to identify allergy triggers,” says Sublett. Then he or she can help you find the best treatment.

2. Common Mistake: You don’t steer clear of your allergy triggers.
Medications aren’t the only way to deal with allergy symptoms. It may not always be easy, but avoiding the culprit behind your sneezing and sniffling is just as important as taking meds.

Simple Solution: Play hard to get.
Once you know what your trigger is, minimize your exposure to it.

If you’re allergic to pollen:

  • Keep your windows shut whenever possible.
  • Shower and change your clothes when you come inside.
  • Stay indoors when pollen counts are highest (in the middle of the day).

If you’re allergic to dust mites:

  • If possible, remove wall-to-wall carpets from the bedroom.
  • Use a vacuum with a High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter regularly.
  • Enclose mattresses and pillows in mite-proof covers.
  • Wash bedding regularly in hot water.

If you’re allergic to mold:

  • Minimize moisture buildup by using vent fans when you shower and cook.
  • If possible, vent appliances that produce moisture (like clothes dryers and stoves) to outside of your home rather than in.

3. Common Mistake: You wait too long to take allergy medicines.
Don’t wait until you start sneezing and sniffling to take medication. “The drugs work best at blocking the occurrence of symptoms, not treating symptoms once you have them,” says Sublett.

Simple Solution: Plan ahead.
If you know you have seasonal allergies, start taking medications that usually work for you as soon as the season starts. Watch the weather: As the temperature warms up, pollen is sure to follow.

4. Common Mistake: You eat produce and other foods that might aggravate sniffles and sneezes.
One out of 20 people who are allergic to pollen has oral allergy syndrome, which means his immune system mistakes the compounds in certain foods for pollen proteins, says Sublett. Some foods -- such as pears, cherries, peaches, apples, melons and nuts -- cause breakouts or itching in the throat or around the mouth.

Simple Solution: Talk to your doctor.
Check with an allergist if you’ve ever experienced these symptoms after eating certain foods. If you have oral allergy syndrome, you should avoid fresh fruit and nuts during allergy season, although cooking or peeling fruit can help some people avoid a reaction. Your physician will know best.