My wife is an allergy sufferer. The peak of the pollen season can hit her pretty hard, delivering her a dose of watery eyes and sneezes and some congestion.
Because of that, I’m pretty intimately familiar with a lot of the usual treatments to help with allergens. A thorough vacuuming can help, as can taking off your boots when you enter the house.
Still, I can’t help but notice that a lot of treatments for allergy symptoms are quite expensive. The price of Claritin is astronomical, and other medications such as Benadryl can also set you back.
Over the years, we’ve found several little tips that really help when it comes to spring allergy relief. Most of them are pretty common, like the aforementioned removal of shoes/boots and vacuuming. Here are three inexpensive allergy tactics that were pretty new to us as we discovered them in the last few years.
Skip the Claritin, buy loratadine
For many people with allergies, Claritin (generic name: loratadine) is a godsend. It keeps those allergy symptoms at bay very effectively during those especially pesky spring months. I once had a coworker who was like a different person when she used Claritin versus when it was unavailable to her.
Claritin is available over the counter at a rate of $18.89 for thirty tablets. In fact, that’s actually a pretty good rate for Claritin based on the prices I’ve seen.
Here’s the catch: the primary ingredient in Claritin, loratadine, is available as a generic. You can buy a 365 count bottle of the same exact 10 mg dosage of loratadine for just $7.06.
The difference is $0.63 per pill versus $0.02 per pill. You’re literally saving $0.61 per pill over Claritin if these work for you. If you take one each day for a month during peak allergy season, that’s $20 saved.
Eat an allergy-friendly diet
There are a lot of foods that naturally supress some spring allergy symptoms. One of the most common of these is quercetin, which is a naturally-occurring flavonoid that has been shown in many studies to inhibit inflammation and may also reduce both nasal and ocular pollinosis. (Ocular pollinosis – watery eyes during a heavy pollen period – is the one spring allergy symptom I seem to get.)
You don’t have to take any supplements or eat anything weird, either. Just eat red onions, tomatoes, and spinach, and drink green and black tea. I’ve noticed that a cup of black tea really does help my watery eyes in the springtime, and I assume it’s the quercetin at work. It’s far cheaper than hitting myself with a barrage of allergy medications.
Take a night shower
Instead of taking a shower right when you wake up, take one at the end of the day. Why? This washes away all of the pollen that might be attached to your skin or hair, allowing you to have the best shot at getting a good allergy-free night of sleep.
The amount of water and soap used in a typical shower is substantially lower in value than even a single dose of Claritin. I also find a warm shower to be calming and I tend to sleep really well if I shower shortly before bed (though a shower tends to wake me up in the mornings… strange how it works both ways).
This was one of those simple yet surprising things that really works well for taking care of allergens. Things like vacuuming and changing clothes are common tactics, but shifting your shower? It actually does help, though.