Hay Fever

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Hay Fever

 

When dusts such as grass and pollen are inhaled by a person with an allergy to them, it is known as Hay Fever, the attacks are often seasonal. Symptoms often include:

Itchy, painful throat, nose
Sneezing
Head and nasal congestion
Coughing
Stuffy, runny nose
Nasal and sinus discharge
Itchy, watery eyes

Hay fever is an allergic response to dust and pollens. An attack can last between fifteen and twenty minutes and can recur up to seven times a day while it is hay fever season. The attacks are not usually dangerous.

Causes

A person who suffers from hay fever has an immune system which regards harmless allergens as harmful and dangerous. Because of this your body wants to get rid of these alleged ‘bad’ substances, so it floods the bloodstream with histamine. Histamine is the chemical which causes all of these symptoms. Doctors believe it is probable that there is a genetic cause for hay fever.

Personal Care

Prevention is better than cure so try to avoid the allergens which cause hay fever. Keep your windows closed and keep the air conditioning turned on. Avoid raking leaves or mowing your lawn as these activities stir up pollens, if you have work in the garden wear a filtered mask and protective glasses. Wash your hands, face and hair and rinse your eyes as soon as you come in from outdoors to avoid leaving traces of pollen on your pillow. Keep your house spotless and try wear a mask while cleaning so as to avoid breathing in any allergens.

Dietary Considerations

Refined sugar and the protein in dairy products are all mucous producing substances so try and avoid eating these during hay fever season. Honey is believed by some researchers to have a anti-allergic effect that might relieve some hay fever symptoms. Peanut butter, dairy products, chocolate, wheat, eggs, white flour breads, biscuits and cakes, alcohol, cheese and shellfish should be avoided if you are allergic to them or cause any problems. An elimination diet can help pin point any particular food which sets off hay fever.

When to seek further professional advice

As soon as your condition becomes so severe and uncontrollable that it interferes with your life.

Alternative/Natural Treatments

Inhalations of eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globules), hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis) or peppermint (Mentha piperita) have been found to help ease the pain and irritation. The Chinese herb ephedra (Ephedra sinica) is a allergy and hay fever remedy, Chinese herbalists warn that it should only be used for short periods in combination with other herbs. Ephedra can be combined with liquorice (Glycyrrhiza uralensis). Some people have experienced side effects after taking ephedra so it is best used under the supervision of a Chinese herbalist. Ginseng (Panax ginseng) is also compatible with ephedra. Pinellia (Pinellia ternata), cynanchum (Cynanchum stautoni) and polygala (Polygala tenuifolia) are all commonly used expectorants. A professional should be consulted for more information. This herbal mixture may help you, infuse in 1 cup of boiled water for 10 minutes - 1 part ephedra (Ephedra sinica), 1 part eyebright (Euphrasia officinalis), 1 part goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis), and 2 parts elder (Sambucus nigra). Ephedra may be too stimulating for children and can give adults certain side effects, so be careful when using it. Your body’s mucous production can be slowed down with goldenrod (Solidago virgaurea), garlic (Allium sativum), agrimony (Agrimonia eupatoria) and yarrow (achillea millefolium). You can bathe irritated eyes with a compress soaked in either eyebright (Euphrasia officinalis) or chamomile (Matricaria recutita), the tea can be made from the leaves and dilute it 50% with water or saline solution before using to soak the compresses. For hot, watery eyes, a burning nasal discharge with sneezing, and symptoms that are worse late at night, try the homeopathic remedy Arsenicum album. If your nose is blocked at night but has a watery discharge during the day, your eyes feel inflamed and very watery and you have a headache, try using Euphrasia. If you are suffering with thick, yellow mucous accompanied by a lose of smell and taste and is made worse by warm rooms but are better outdoors, Pulsatilla can help. Allium cepa helps if your eyes are watery and itchy, your sneezing, have a runny nose with a burning discharge and symptoms become worse in a warm room. Professional advice is needed for the correct dosage of these remedies.

Traditional Treatment

It is highly advisable that you should see your doctor if you have an attack, he can then prescribe you medication that will help control the symptoms. The best way to treat hay fever, it to prevent it from occurring, this can be done by avoiding exposure to the suspected allergens. Over the counter anti-histamines can control mild cases of hay fever. Some over the counter nasal sprays contain both a anti-histamine and a decongestant, but be careful as these sprays and drops can be addictive and should be used sparingly. Allergy shots can also be taken.

The information contained in this Site/Service is not intended nor is it implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice or taken for medical diagnosis or treatment

Author - Body and Mind

Published - 2013-01-22