Every year, about a week or two after the magnolia trees bloom, I get hit with every seasonal allergies symptoms from the tree pollen. Severe nasal congestion, coughing fits, and sometimes even asthma attacks.  Before getting pregnant, I took a cocktail of medication, most of which are category C. I was at a loss this year when my doctor gave me the meager list of pregnancy-safe meds – Claritin had similar effects as a Tic Tac, Rhinocort nasal sprays are not covered by my insurance, and Zyrtec makes me immensely dizzy.

I went into “willing to try anything” mode – and Amazon is great (awful?) for that. First up was Xlear Nasal Spray – which turned out to simply be 1.5 oz. of sugary water and did nothing for my allergies. Next up is the WoodyKnows Ultra Breathable Nasal Filter.

My dad used to wear a particle mask during high pollen days. He half-joked that he’d liked to invent a tiny particle mask that goes right over his nostrils that allows him to breathe, but blocks out the allergens. After purchasing the WoodyKnows filter, I sent him a photo of the product and he responded with, “this is it, they read my mind!”.

Left: WoodyKnows Ultra Breathable Nasal Filter, size II-R. Right: visible plastic loop.
Left: WoodyKnows Ultra Breathable Nasal Filter, size II-R. Right: visible plastic loop.

The nasal filter works exactly as that – it sits comfortably inside your nostrils and physically prevents allergens from entering your respiratory system. Their website has simple instructions on how to decipher which size is right for you, based on the size and shape of your nose.

People will do a double-take and some even ask about the small plastic loop that’s visible between your nostrils, it somewhat resembles a nose ring. For the ability to function through these beautiful Spring days without losing sleep or coughing up a lung (or worse, getting an asthma attack and harming my “passenger”), I’ll take a few weird glances towards my nose. It’s remarkably easy to clean – just rinse under tap water, and pat dry with a tissue. The filter supposedly lasts 30 days, I’m on my second week so far and there are no signs of warping.

My daily routine now involves making sure that the nasal filter is in while I’m outside, or if my windows are open on a high-pollen day. I also rinse my sinuses out with warm saline using my trusty Himalayan Institute Ceramic Neti Pot at the end of the day (15 seconds in the microwave makes a very comfortable rinse). No drugs and no side effects!

I’m not sure how this works with pet dander, as that is a whole other beast (pun intended). The nasal filter also helps when I’m cleaning and emptying out the vacuum’s dust bin, which usually makes me sneeze a few times. So I can vouch for those looking for relief from dust allergies as well. Also, if you are already having allergies symptoms, I’m not sure how well this filter may work, as it simply prevents allergens from entering your system and does not treat any symptoms.

WoodyKnows Ultra Breathable Nasal Filter gets 5 out of 5 Smiling Bananas.

Why bananas? Frankly, because they are delicious, are high in potassium, and the rabbits go bonkers for them.