What is happening to my face?

Have you been outside lately? It’s beautiful and colorful, isn’t it? Even the sun is out! But the outside also wants to make your nose runny and your eyes itchy and your throat scratchy. What a conundrum those of us with allergies find ourselves in when the weather in Portland gets nice.

What is even going on out there?

So here’s the deal: Those beautiful plants are gettin’ it on and that’s why you end up popping Claritin like Altoids. There are male plants and female plants out there, and the male plants are the ones producing all that pollen, which in turn makes it way to the female plants so they can make even more plants, making all our lives miserable. Female plants mostly can’t self-pollinate, which means the dude plants are just lettin’ it all out there on the off chance a girl plant will pick it up. And us humans get caught in the crossfire.

Kinda gross when you really think about it. Probably best not to think about it.

What can I even do about it?

If you’re suffering from allergies this spring, there’s a few things you can do.

The most obvious choice is to just not go outside. Take this time to reflect on your life. Maybe watch everything on Netflix. Maybe read all the books on your shelf you’ve bought but haven’t ever read. Maybe just hibernate for the next three to six months. Just do whatever you can to avoid stepping out into the pollen-infested, sickness-inducing world that’s out there.

If you absolutely have to go outside, maybe first make a trip to the store for allergy medicine. There’s tons of it in medicine aisle, so I’m sure you’ll find a few options that will work for you. Once you buy it, just down the whole pack in one go and you’ll be set for the rest of the season. (Just kidding, please don’t do that. I’m actually not sure what will happen to you if you take a whole pack of allergy medicine in one go, but I’m sure it’s not good.) Really, just follow the directions on the package. It’ll probably help.

There are about a million articles online with helpful tips for relieving allergies. From neti pots and saline spray, to putting your face in some steam or taking a hot shower, there are lots of options that are supposed to help.

One thing I’ve found that helps my allergies is to actually eat locally made honey. Apparently, since the bees in the area are producing honey using local pollen, ingesting it acclimates me to the pollen, which relieves the area. There’s not a whole lot of scientific evidence to back me up on this, so it’s all totally anecdotal. But putting some honey in my tea now and again does seem to help. Although there’s also the chance it’s all in my head.

At any rate, if you suffer from allergies I wish you best of luck in the next few months. Try not to get caught in the middle of all that plant fornication going on.