A way to wash those allergies away

Derrick Knutson
Derrick Knutson

If you’re easily grossed out, stop reading this column right now.

For those of you who are still with me, I thank you for sticking around.

If you haven’t noticed, it’s late spring, almost summer.

The temperatures are warming (finally), birds are fluttering to and fro between the trees, and evil incarnate is wafting through the air in copious amounts.

I’m talking about pollen, or whatever it is that I and loads of other people are allergic to.

It seems like my allergies just get worse every year.

Growing up, I didn’t have a problem at all; the allergies didn’t start until around college. At first, I suffered just a couple of weeks in the spring and that was it — quite manageable, in my opinion. Then came the fall allergies, followed by bouts of allergies in the summertime.

It’s like having a cold that you just can’t shake — your eyes are watery, sinuses are plugged, and your energy level is affected.

I’ve tried allergy medications like Zyrtec and Allegra and they help some, but not very much. I even tried the Neti Pot, which I was apprehensive about at first because of what using it entailed.

With the Neti Pot, the user fills the tea-pot-looking devise with warm, salinated water and pours it in his or her nostrils in an attempt to flush out all the icky gunk and pollen from the nasal passageways, which, in turn, helps reduce the occurrence of allergy symptoms. The concept is a good one, but if the nasal passageways get really plugged, the salty water just sits there and then dribbles out of the same nostril you just poured it in.

Enter the NeilMed Sinus Rinse Kit. This devise employs the salt-water rinse idea just like the Neti Pot, but in an advanced, effective and much more disgusting way.

It looks like a little rocket, and you fill it with saline water and squeeze it while the end is pressed against a nostril. The devise fires out a pressurized jet of saline water up one side of your nose and out the other.

The first time I did this, I thought an eyeball was going to pop and my wife was going to have to rush me to the emergency room, but lo and behold the stuff packed up in my sinus cavity eventually gave way and was washed out.

The noise this elicits is … well, we’ll call it “interesting.” The results are … err … well, interesting, too. I could go into greater detail here, but I think leaving it up to the reader’s imagination is more effective.

This nose rocket isn’t a cure-all — I’m still definitely feeling the effects of seasonal allergies — but it has at least provided some semblance of relief.

I’m just kind of surprised I’ve come to the level of firing pressured streams of water up my nose to combat allergy symptoms.

If this remedy stops working, I’m not really sure what I’ll do. I’ll either have to stay inside with the air conditioning on all of the time, move to a desert climate or find out what I’m allergic to and set out on a determined mission to eradicate it from this state.

Hopefully it’s not pine trees; there’s a heck of a lot of those in Minnesota, and I think it might take a wee bit of time to chop every one of them down.

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