Thursday, 27 June 2013

Cheap Ways to Manage your Allergic Rhinitis?

Today, I came across this interesting article 8 Frugal Ways to Manage Your Allergies . Am not sure if the writer has any experience with allergies or tried these methods, but here' s my take on her suggestions:

1) Smooch a loved one... as kissing apparently eases stress-induced inflammation
Can't help but laugh at this! I'm not sure if it refers to kissing more to reduce allergies or kissing more while having allergies to get better, but either way, I've not tried. And I'm pretty sure allergy sufferers won't want t kiss while their nose is all dripping and stuffy. Seriously. They are more likely to suffocate when they kiss as their only channel of breathing - through the mouth, while the nose is blocked is not available.

2) Eating more garlic and onions, which are high in Quercetin - an antioxidant thought to prevent the cells from releasing histamine.
Yes this is true, but you will need to eat a REALLY huge amount of garlic and onions daily to see the effects. Hence the supplement Quercetin. Many allergic rhinitis sufferers have found it effective and I've tried it myself too, read here.

3) Saline Rinse
Have not really tried it myself, but I've read many positive feedback from those who have tried it.

4) Hot showers
Yeah, this helps to unblock your nose. But effects may not be lasting

5) Eucalyptus oil’s invigorating aroma can help open nasal passages
Eucalyptus is known to alleviate allergic conditions and ease nasal congestion. But 100% pure eucalyptus oil is not exactly cheap though.

 6) Steaming ...inhaling it sooth irritated sinuses and helps get rid of mucus
This works like taking hot shower. Sometimes drinking a steaming hot cup of beverage or soup helps too. Works for me sometimes, depending on severity of my allergic attack.

7) Eating Wasabi to clear your sinuses and tear ducts
I'm not sure if you want to try this, lol! I've tried eating Wasabi when I'm having blocked nose and it triggered a few sneezes from me. Helps to clear the mucus temporarily, but effects not lasting.

8) Relax a bit more
 Getting a massage helps improve blood circulation and benefits the general health. Having less stress is definitely better for the immune system and thus helps allergies. Meditation and yoga are great relaxation options.

Another suggestion that I want to add on is doing Acupressure. Read here to learn how you can do it on your own.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

The Haze Triggered my Allergic Rhinitis!

The past week in Singapore has been aweful. We have been invaded by horrible haze originating from Indonesia due to forest fire as a result of farmers using slash and burn method to clear their fields. Read more about it here.

This is the worst haze in Singapore history. I experienced the bad one in 1997 and it is nowhere close to what we have here in the last few days. You can tell from this chart on the right how bad our current haze is. Our PSI (Pollutant Standards Index) reading hit hazardous level (>300) for a few days last week and such levels could aggravate those with underlying heart and respiratory ailments. Our National Environment Agency (NEA) advised the elderly, young, pregnant and those with such underlying ailments to reducing outdoor activities and physical exertion.

source: NEA
Due to my allergic rhinitis condition, I took quite a few precautionary steps. I hardly went out. And when I did, I wore a mask. And don't get me started on the mask issue. We've been advise to wear N95 mask when the haze gets bad, but the N95 stock was running out everywhere. Its unbelievable! At home, I close all the windows and rely on fans and aircon to keep ventilated. Even with these measures, I could still smell the haze smoke lingering in the air at home. My throat was dry. My eyes were itchy. Needless to say, my nose started acting up at times - sneezing, runny and stuffy. I did not recall getting this reaction back then in 1997 where it hit PSI reading of 226. To be honest, I didn't even wear a mask back then and there was no mask buying frenzy. Life went on as usual and my hubby even continued with his outdoor sports then (which on hindsight was not a wise idea)

The past 2 days has been pretty kind to Singapore as the wind directions have changed. But our neighbour, Malaysia is getting hit hard by the haze due to this change in wind directions, to the extend that some states were declared to be in state of emergency and schools were ordered to be closed.

This haze is expected to last for weeks on even longer. Hopefully the wind gods will continue to be kind to us and the relatively good air condition for the last 2 days will continue so I can have fresh breathable air and not be stuck indoors breathing in stale air.