This topic is near and dear to my heart. I guess you could say that allergies and asthma are a hobby of mine, my only hobby up until I started homesteading. My youngest 3 kiddos (and myself) suffer from allergies and asthma. That being said you’d think we would avoid the outdoors like the plague (we used to) but here is how we manage our allergies and asthma and still enjoy the outdoors and animals.
Know your allergy season and triggers. Start your regimen ON TIME and keep up with it. Cut it off before it gets bad. For us that means starting doubling down on allergy medications in FEBRUARY–at the LATEST! By the end of January we can feel it coming on, by groundhog’s day we’re a snotty mess. We double down on allergy meds from February until June per our allergist’s recommendation. We take it regularly/daily all year long! We also start al of our strict allergy and asthma practices in February and use this time to check dates and equipment for meds.
Be consistent. I am the absolute worst at remembering to take medicine– at least for myself. I can stay on top of my kids’ meds but I’m forgetful for myself so I recommend setting a phone alarm. I put all of my kids meds in a weekly pill case (I fill it up on Sunday night) so that they can take their medications with breakfast.
IN EVERY BEDROOM and at least one in the main living area. I know that sounds pricey but you will not regret making your sleeping quarters your allergy sanctuary. And don’t forget to change the filters every three months or it defeats the purpose (I haven’t changed mine yet, but trust me on this!)
Keep windows shut:
I know that’s a real bummer. The first semi warm day I want nothing more than to open every window in the house and let all of the winter out and flood the house with warm spring! BUT RESIST! All of the sweet spring air brings in all of that sweet spring pollen. Trust me this is NOT how you want to die. By all means go outside and enjoy it but don’t invite it into your home. That brings me to my next point…
Shedding Outer Layers:
When you come in from outside take off your outer layers. They are covered in pollen. Now you don’t have to throw it on the floor for the dog to lay on as my two year old has demonstrated in the picture above, but I mean if you want to who am I to stop you–it’s your house!
Not everyone “buys into” using essential oils so if you don’t go ahead and skip this one. But K do. My favorite oils to use for allergies are: Breathe (it’s a DoTerra blend but there are other respiratory blends–mostly comprised of Eucalyptus, peppermint, melaleuca), lemon, peppermint, and Eucalyptus. You can use these both topically (diluted) or diffused. We mostly diffuse.
Regular check ins with allergist:
Before treating yourself for allergies and asthma make sure you see a certified allergist and/or pulmonologist. We are allergy tested every six months and see our allergist every three months. With sick visits in between. We adore our allergist. It’s worth it to find a good one!
CHECK LABELS EVERY TIME (you never know when a formula will change even on something you buy all of the time). We aren’t able to buy certain animal feeds because of our allergies–and I found this out AFTER we brought it home (NOTE TO SELF: practice what you preach). We have certain seed and nut allergies which make certain feeds off limits.
Knowledge is key. Know what you’re allergic to and stay away from it as best as possible. If you’re allergic to hay but you’re the only one who can load feeders–wear a mask, wash your hands after loading and shed the hay covered layer of clothes when you come inside.
Allergy shots are a great help to try to curb the allergies all together and decrease reactions. These can be done for certain seasonal and inhaled allergens. I receive allergy shots, but admittedly haven’t been in awhile and I need to get back on track.
We use allergy casings on our mattress (pictured) and pillow cases as well as washing our bedding weekly (twice a week during the worst of our allergy season–our season Feb-June). When the allergens come in on your clothes the last thing you want to do is put them into your bed. Your bedroom should be your “Allergy Safe Zone”.
So I find these things to be so so gross, BUT they work wonders when your sinuses are so blocked that your nasal spray can’t even reach the sinus membranes!! So grab some distilled water and get one of these. You may not like the feeling of Ol’ Faithful gushing directly up your nose (and the contents of said nose running out of the other side) but it really does help. If it feels like you’re drowning IT’S WORKING–kidding if it feels like you’re drowning you need to adjust the angle and try again. It should not run down your throat. Barf!
This is kind of a no brainer but in case you’re in an allergy fog (and trust me that’s a real thing) I’ll tell you why. When you are outside with your plants and animals, dander and pollen get on you. If you touch your face it’s dangerously close to getting IN and setting off a chain reaction of allergy misery.
So don’t give up on your homestead dreams because you live in a snot bubble from February to June (or October–let’s face it there is always something blooming or molding). Just talk to your doctor, follow some of these steps and you will only be MODERATELY miserable during the spring and summer and fall seasons. I’m kidding–sort of–these ideas are by no means a CURE but they really do help reduce the amount of symptoms you have.
I hope any of these can help you!