It starts with an itch at the back of the throat that you just can’t scratch, then you develop streaming, red, puffy eyes, following by constant sneezing.
Allergies affect at least one in five people in Australia, and when they hit, it can be difficult to combat the symptoms.
Here are 10 unusual ways you can control your hay fever symptoms using only the ingredients or tools within your home. Dr Rob Hicks, allergy expert and author of Beat Your Allergies, has come up with 10 natural ways to combat allergic reactions this spring.
1. Nasal Barrier
A nasal barrier, such a Vaseline or a similar balm, can be smeared around the entrance of your nose. The idea is that it traps the pollen before it can get into the nose and trigger your allergic response. It is a very effective way of easing allergy symptoms.
Treating yourself to a new pair of wraparound sunglasses could help keep your hay fever symptoms at bay. “If you have been wanting to buy new sunglasses for a while now, preventing your allergies can be just the justification you need” said Dr Hicks.
Why? Pollen primarily enters the body through the eyes and nose. It is very sticky and rather pollen sticking to your eyes or nasal passage, the sunglasses will pick up the majority of the spores. Sunglasses can also help those people who find bright lights may trigger their allergic reactions, causing them to sneeze.
3. Use Your Phone
As most things in modern day life, there is a range of apps that can help hay fever sufferers plan their lives around their allergies. Dr Hicks recommends keeping track of daily pollen counts via a weather app. The app can help monitor, via is GPS, your current environment based on location. On bad days it can help you decide when it is best to stay indoors, specifically in the morning and late at night when the pollen is coming back down towards the ground. Depending on the persons allergy, it assist you in planning to avoid the outdoors when pollen count is at its highest.
While scientific research does not back up the old fashioned remedy of a spoonful of honey, Dr Hicks says many patients do report it to be helpful.
It is most beneficial if it is locally made honey, and the idea is that it essentially acts as a natural immunotherapy, giving your immune system a daily dose of the allergen and a chance to get used to it.
5. Pamper Your Pets
You pet may be your best friend, but they can also be one of your main adversaries if you are a hay fever sufferer. Just like pollen sticking to your clothes, the spores also do a great job at sticking to your pet’s hair / fur. Dr Hicks said it is important to ensure any pets living in the home are washed or wiped down with a damp cloth before being let in the house.
6. Fry Up Some Onions
There is a whole lot of foods which contain the natural antihistamine, quercetin. Onions and Apples are among the most common and help ease the symptoms of an allergic reaction. Vitamin C is also a natural antihistamine, so try eating the fruits and vegetables packed with Vitamin C.
7. Shut The Windows
It is a common quick fix to the stuffy, hot home – open the windows and let some fresh air in. But for allergy sufferers, particularly those battling their yearly bout of hay fever, a refreshing draft of air could be aggravating your hay fever symptoms.
Dr Hicks suggests keeping your window’s closed at night, especially when the pollen count is above average.
8. Get Changed
For each individual, arriving home after a long day at work or school brings a certain routine – put the kettle on, change into more comfortable /exercise clothes, and relax. But hay fever sufferers should stop, rewind and strip off as soon as you come through the door. Pollen will stick to your clothes throughout the day, and as you walk through your home, you are dispersing the pollen, which will encourage your hay fever symptoms to stick around for a little longer. It may not be practical, but it is important to get your clothes into the washing basket as soon as you are through your front door.
9. Change Your Bed Sheets
Changing your sheets is common-sense for hay fever sufferers. Pollen will not only stick to your clothes, but sheets and pillows too. It is also important to resist the temptation to make the most of the sunny, dry weather outside. Drying your sheets in the open air will encourage pollen to re-stick to your sheets, again dispersing it throughout your home and bedroom. It may not be convenient, but try drying your sheets inside a sun room, or over a clothes rack in your bedroom. Your eyes and nose will thank you for it later.
10. Take A Shower
Pollen will stick to your clothes, cling to your nasal passages and invade your eyes. It will also infest you hair, long or short. By the time you arrive home, you are likely to have millions of pollen spores lurcking in your locks. Dr Hicks says a simple shower as soon as you get home (after immediately stripping off) will help eradicate the pollen from your hair and skin, which will help keep your allergic reaction at bay.
Did You Know?
A Bit About Hay Fever:
Hay fever is caused by allergens, specifically pollen, which is not dangerous to the body, but for some reason, the body thinks it is. An allergic reaction is a normal but inappropriate response of the body’s immune system.
The Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy is a professional body of allergists and clinical immunologists in Australia and New Zealand. In 2007, ASCIA estimated that:
- 4.1 million or 20 per cent of Australians have at least one allergy
- The highest prevalence of allergies is in the working population, with 78 per cent of people suffering an allergy between the ages of 15 and 64
- There are 7.2 million cases of allergy – an average of 1.74 allergies per person
- If the population continues to age along the current trend, there will be 70 per cent increase in the number of Australians with an allergy, from 4.1 million to 7.7 million
Do you suffer from an allergy? Tell us what natural strategies you implement to keep your hay fever symptoms at bay…
This article was sourced from Daily Mail, UK. Published September 22, 2014
This post was written by awfa