Call yourself lucky if you have not been sneezing continuously with itchy and teary eyes every time you wake up in the morning or spend time outdoors. In case you’re wondering what this is all about, well, it is called hay fever and goes by the medical term, allergic rhinitis. If you think you have experienced this or still dealing with it as we speak, read on to find out more on this topic –its causes, symptoms and of course, some effective remedies for dealing with the condition.
What is Hay Fever?
Hay fever or allergic rhinitis is a common condition that causes irritation or inflammation of the nose. It shares similar symptoms to those of a cold but unlike a cold, hay fever is not caused by a virus but rather an allergic reaction to airborne substances such as pollen, dust mites, mould, pet dander, etc. Interestingly, despite its name, hay fever is not a result of an allergic response to hay as hay, as we know it, is hardly ever an allergen. Likewise, fever is also not a symptom relating to hay fever.
Hay fever can be categorized into two main groups: seasonal and perennial. Seasonal hay fever happens only during a certain time of the year in which certain plants pollinate. On the other hand, perennial hay fever is the one that happens all year round with one or more allergens responsible for it, including dust mites, feathers, mould and animal dander, which are tiny skin flakes animals such as cats and dogs shed along with fur.
Nonetheless, hay fever can make life quite miserable and can affect one’s performance at work, school or home and generally interfere with the quality of life. So it is important to know what the causes are, as well as their symptoms so that you can better prepare yourself and avoid the discomfort.
What Causes Hay Fever?
Hay fever occurs when your immune system reacts to an irritant in the air in such a way that it thinks they are dangerous substances invading the body. When this happens, the immune system, in trying to eject the allergen, releases natural chemicals like histamine and leukotrienes into the bloodstream, causing an overreaction in the system that inflame the lining of the nasal passages, sinuses, throat and eye while setting off all sorts of symptoms associated with hay fever.
Symptoms of Hay Fever
Symptoms of Hay Fever can appear at any time of the year, but it is usually worse between late March and September as this is usually the time when it’s warm, humid and windy and the pollen count is at its highest. Common symptoms include:
- Stuffy, itchy or runny nose
- Continuous sneezing
- Postnasal drip
- Watery eyes, red, or itchy eyes
- Itchy throat or roof of the mouth
- Coughing, wheezing or trouble breathing
- Sinus pressure and pain
- Increased mucus in the nose and throat.
- Headaches, fatigue and malaise (general feeling of discomfort).
That said, people with asthma may experience more wheezing and breathlessness at times when hay fever symptoms are common. Moreover, symptoms may become long-term if left untreated.
Risk Factors of Hay Fever
Everyone is susceptible to getting hay fever. But the risk of developing hay fever is much higher if you have asthma, or have a close family member that has hay fever or other allergies. The chances are also higher if you happen to live or work in an environment that constantly exposes you to allergens — such as animal dander or dust mites. On top of this, the risk factor also increases if you have been exposed to second-hand smoke during your early stage of infancy or you were born during a high pollen season. An infant who has had fewer childhood infections may have a higher risk of autoimmune problems in life, and this includes hay fever.
Prevention and Remedy
Hay fever is not something that is avoidable or preventable. But that does not mean you have to suffer from it all through your life. There is a wide range of over-the-counter treatments and prescription medicines that can help manage the symptoms and help you lead a normal life. There are also different helpful steps you can take to help minimize the impact of hay fever. They are:
- Avoid spending time outdoors, especially when it is windy and the pollen count is high.
- Keep windows and doors shut during the spring, summer and early fall when pollen counts are high.
- Avoid touching your face and rubbing your eyes or nose.
- Shower and change your clothes after coming indoors, especially when pollen counts are high.
- Regularly splash the eyes with cool water, to soothe them and clear them of pollen.
- Apply Vaseline around the inside edges of your nostrils, as it helps stop pollen from getting through.
- Keep all surfaces, floors, and carpets as dust-free as possible.
- Use a dehumidifier to prevent mould.
- Keep away from cigarette smoke, and quit, if you are a smoker.
- Wash your hands often, especially after playing with pets.
- Wear a mask when you work outdoors.
- Wear a hat and sunglasses to protect your eyes from pollen when you’re outside.
- Use dust mite-proof covers for pillows and mattresses.
- Keep pets off couches and beds, and close doors to bedrooms you don’t want them to enter.
Managing Hay Fever with Ayurveda
Certain Herbal formulations are also known to be beneficial in treating symptoms of hay fever. This includes teas and juice made with rejuvenating herbs and spices, as well as capsules and tablets formulated using exquisite herbs with rich anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-allergic properties.
Keeping this in mind, Preserva Wellness has come up with a wide variety of Ayurvedic supplements that are especially suitable for managing hay fever and its symptoms.
Their immune-boosting products such as Immunoblast Juice, Immunoblast Capsules and Immune Boosting Tea are made using 95% pure Curcumin extract which is known for its rich anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-allergic properties. Not only that they also contain other potent Ayurvedic ingredients that work harmoniously in building up the immune system.
Likewise, their Daily Strength Juice and Daily Boost Tea are excellent solutions for supporting healthy respiratory function and promoting better breathing, reducing congestion and improving overall lung health. They are formulated using the best of Ayurvedic herbs and rejuvenating spices that help fight against allergies, provide relief from sore throat, persistent cough, and fever and reduce the risk of asthma, bronchitis, etc. The juice, in particular, is especially suitable for heavy smokers as it helps increase oxygen absorption and heals the lungs from the bad effects of tobacco smoke.
The Bottom Line
Hay fever can be quite an unpleasant condition to deal with. It affects your productivity and quality of life. However, you can easily reduce the impact and discomfort once you know its causes and the steps to take or avoid with regard to dealing with the condition. Hence, following these mentioned tips and tricks can come a long way in your journey of dealing with hay fever and its symptoms. Make sure to seek medical advice if symptoms remain persistent or get worse.