The Tree Pollen Onslaught Has Begun

Well folks, I hate to inform you that out here in California spring has sprung, which means it is headed your way soon.  The daffodils are blooming,

the calla lillies are starting to show their beautiful blooms

and unfortunately the trees are at it too.  This somehow caught me by surprise.  I was happily pointing out all the new life to my son when I pointed up at the tree and then gasped.  No, it can’t be time for the trees to bloom.  I say this with much displeasure because I am allergic to trees.  I discovered this last year when I lived back east where they actually have trees.  I was miserable for a solid 3 maybe 4 weeks while the trees bloomed, spread their pollen and formed their first leaves.  My body, despite my coaching, seems to think that pollen is public enemy number 1.  My immune system launches a full scale attach on the pollen, with no concerns about innocent bystanders (me) being in the line of fire.  Last year a doctor identified the problem.  The battlefield for the attack seems to be my ears which fill up with liquid and then drain down my throat all day and night.  This causes a sore throat that persists until the trees are done doing their thing.

I do have some weapons in my arsenal that do not include standard medicine.  I didn’t discover them until fall last year but they helped immensely with hayfever season so I am anxious to give it a try for the trees.  It’s called a NeilMed Netipot.  Ever heard of it?  It’s this wierd thing that looks just like a mini plastic tea pot.  The only difference is that you use it to cleanse your sinus passages.  The idea is that the pollen has to get in somehow and it’s usually through your nose.  Then it likes to just hang out and cause trouble.  The netipot rinses the area and clears out all allergens.  Last summer Robert and I both used it, sometimes in the morning and evening, but always after we worked outside.  I liked using it after I showered for the evening, it felt like a good way to get every offensive allergen off of me so I could relax for the evening.

There are a few different types of Nasal cleansing systems.  The first is the one I described above, is the NeilMed Netipot, it looks like a tea pot and is very gentle and easy to use.  The saline solution flows out with gravity flow so there is no forcing through the naval passages and it’s really gently.  Great for beginners.  The other flushing system we have is a NeilMed Sinus Rinse.  It looks just like a squirt bottle.  This is like the advanced user version of the Netipot.  The saline solution is squeezed out so it can come out very fast and can cause quite a burn if you don’t have your positioning just right.  The last device we have but have not tried is the NasaMist Saline Spray All-in-One.  We got this free with a mail in rebate and I have it on hand to use for the baby when he gets a bad cold and needs to be unclogged.  As I just read on their website, it is not a nasal irrigation system but more like a moisturizing for dry passageways from colds or allergies.

When we started using these in the fall we were amazed at how much relief they offered.  Especially for Robert who has really bad hayfever.  I saw relief but not 100%.  I still woke up everyday congested and sneezy.  But that could be because we had the windows open all night because we didn’t have air conditioning (any allergy sufferer will tell you that open windows are the bane of their life).  It was really helpful to me to use after they were done making hay or when there was noticeable particulates or dust in the air.  I should warn you though that you can’t use these if you are completely stuffed up or even if one passage is blocked.  The saline will drain into your ears instead of out the other nostril.  Not good.  Also you are not supposed to use it 1 hour before bedtime, to allow enough time for everything to drain out so it doesn’t head to your ears and then down your throat, causing a sore throat.

Hopefully soon I can convince Robert to do a netipot demo for me and I can post the pictures/video.  It looks gross but it really isn’t that bad.


2 responses to “The Tree Pollen Onslaught Has Begun

  1. I taught Greta, 15 years old, how to use the Netipot yesterday and it was a miracle. She just started diving for her high school diving team and the chlorine is so hard on her sinuses, this will be a part of her ‘after diving routine’ for sure. It’s a little odd for those who have never done it, but it is so simple and effective.

  2. Oh that’s another use I never thought of. Great idea. I am really stuffy this morning and need to do a rinse before bed to prevent the morning sniffles. It’s only the beginning of a long allergy season.

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