Itching, sneezing, wheezing…Seasonal Allergy Relief
Are you suffering from itchy eyes, sneezing, and stuffed sinuses? Suffer no more! There are many simple remedies to help you alleviate spring allergy symptoms. Did you know that diet and health can play a big role in your allergies? In addition, there are many natural ways to deal with your allergy symptoms.
Spring is frequently considered the most beautiful season of the year. However, springtime can be a real misery for those who notice signs of allergies sneaking up on them as the season begins. Also known as allergic rhinitis or hay fever, seasonal allergies occur when hypersensitive people inhale pollen coming from fresh cut grass, blooming trees and flowers, weeds and bushes. According to WebMD, seasonal allergies may occur not just in spring, but also through the summer and even into the fall.
Multiple trials and studies have shown that common allergies that usually occur seasonally are likely to develop at a young age. Though, hay fever can actually strike anyone at any age. According to recent statistical data, about 60 million people in the United States suffer from mild-to-severe hay fever symptoms and this number grows annually.
In addition, many studies have indicated that about 75% of all allergic people in the United States suffer from one certain type of hay fever: a ragweed allergy. The highest peak of ragweed pollen occurs during the fall, not spring or summer.
Some people may experience symptoms of hay fever only during their childhood years and get rid of them naturally or by means of different allergy remedies in adulthood. Hay fever may also disappear if an allergic person moves from one location to another, with a different type of flora.
However, health care specialists recommend starting seasonal allergy treatment as soon as you notice the first symptoms. If left untreated without specific seasonal allergy meds, hay fever may worsen the allergic reactions and lead to asthma attacks. About 80% of asthmatic people may suffer from hay fever. For this reason, and many others, seasonal allergies shouldn’t be ignored.
Seasonal allergies: symptoms
According to Healthline, hay fever symptoms may vary depending on the pollen a person is allergic to. However, there are certain common signs of all seasonal allergies:
- Nasal congestion;
- A runny nose;
- Excess mucus;
- Post-nasal drip;
- Watery, itchy eyes;
- A scratchy or sore throat;
- Tickling or irritated ears;
- Decreased focus and concentration;
- Mood swings and irritability;
- Extreme fatigue and disturbed sleep patterns;
- Decreased blood pressure;
- Worsen asthma;
What are the causes of seasonal allergies?
The main cause of seasonal allergies, which has been recently explored by Johns Hopkins scientists, is a natural body response to the allergen – pollen. Commonly, a body produces a special chemical, called histamine, to fight against potentially dangerous allergens. However, in hypersensitive people, this reaction may be caused by harmless pollen. Histamine produces antibodies to attack allergens. That is why a person who is allergic to pollen may experience allergy symptoms.
Despite a natural hypersensitivity to pollen, a seasonal allergy may worsen because of:
- Physical trauma;
- Underlying illness;
- Emotion or physical stress;
- A lack of sleep because disturbed sleep patterns may weaken the immune system.
Pregnant women can be also prone to flare-ups of seasonal allergies, as well as children under 12 years.
How can you find the best allergy medicine for hay fever?
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) claim that seasonal allergies can’t be completely treated or prevented, but the allergic reactions can be. All approved medical and home remedies for allergies aim for reducing the natural body response to allergens.
The first medical recommendation for people with seasonal allergies is to stay away from the allergens and limit time spent outside. However, if this guideline is not an option for you, there are certain over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription allergy meds that can relieve the symptoms of hay fever:
These are the first-choice OTC allergy meds that may relieve such symptoms of hay fever as the inflammation of nasal passages, watery and itchy eyes, sneezing, and runny nose. Usually, it is not the best over-the-counter allergy medicine for treating the nasal congestion.
These drugs are available in pills and as nasal sprays. Antihistamines can temporarily block the production of histamine and, such way, stop the symptoms of hay fever. However, antihistamines can make you drowsy, which is why they are’t recommended to everyone.
Corticosteroid nasal sprays and drops
To reduce anti-inflammatory effects that causes nasal congestion, a person may use a corticosteroid-based allergy nasal spray or drops.
Steroids may reduce the inflammation, irritation, nasal bleeding, congestion, unpleasant taste in your mouth, itchy skin and rash around the nose, watery and itchy eyes. The recommended timeline for the treatment with steroids can’t exceed 2-4 weeks.
Oral corticosteroids can be taken no longer than 10 days. Steroids for hay fever can be beneficial if you seek a non-drowsy allergy medicine, but the regular use of these meds may lead to weight gain, mood swings, and acne.
Immunotherapy or allergy shots
Those people who want to get rid of seasonal allergies can consider going through a course of the immunotherapy or allergy shots. These injections, also called allergy vaccines, contain a few allergens (different for everyone) and must be given in medical facilities every week, for 2-3 years. The allergy shots can become the best allergy medicine for kids if their parents want to prevent outbreaks of a seasonal allergy when they grow up.
Nasal decongestants and eye drops for treating hay fever are also available to help deal with allergy symptoms. However, only a doctor may recommend the best medicine for allergies that you can take at home, with or without prescription. Seasonal allergies may vary from a person to person, and the self-treatment may only worsen the symptoms.
Dietary tips that can benefit seasonal allergy treatment
According to WebMD, the treatment of seasonal allergies can benefit from a proper diet. For example, the Mayo Clinic staff claims that nearly a third of ragweed allergy patients can experience worse allergic reactions because of eating certain foods.
The following foods can worsen the signs of seasonal allergies:
- Conventional dairy products;
- Sugar and artificial sweeteners;
- Sunflower seeds;
- Bottled or packaged citrus juice;
- Processed foods;
- Echinacea extract or tincture;
On the other hand, these foods can be good for the treatment of hay fever:
- Organic raw honey;
- Fresh organic vegetables;
- Bone broth;
- Apple cider vinegar;
- Spicy and hot foods;
- Free-range poultry
- Probiotic-rich foods;
- Wild-caught fish;
- Grass-fed meats;
Raw local honey can be specifically helpful for natural allergy relief, including the treatment of hay fever.
Even if you are looking for natural remedies for allergies, consider consulting a heath care specialist anyway, because hay fever may cause serious and potentially life-dangerous disorders like asthma.