Hay fever, also referred to as allergic rhinitis or pollinosis, is caused due to reaction of the immune system towards dust, pollen grains, and other normal airborne allergens. People who are prone to seasonal allergies may be already familiar with this condition. In this condition, the inhaled pollen or dust mites trigger the body's immune system to secrete histamines and alike chemicals, resulting in discomfort symptoms. Avoiding causal factors and using remedies are prompt steps for managing this condition.
Occurring in more than 20 percent people, hay fever persists throughout the year in some people. In others it may get triggered in specific periods of the year, say spring, summer, or fall. The most notable sign of allergic rhinitis is the inflammation of the nasal passages. Other manifested symptoms of hay fever mimic that of the common cold, like runny nose, sneezing, chest congestion, watery eyes, and sinus pain. In hypersensitive people, common hay fever signs are associated with skin rashes and hives. The following are some remedies that help in the treatment of these symptoms.
Consumption of Honey
The pure form of honey that is not processed contains pollen grains to some extent. In some studies it is found that people who are allergic to pollen can tolerate pure honey. The reason could be the effect of honey in making the body resistant to pollen grains. Therefore, one may take honey alone, or use a concoction of honey, lemon juice, and boiled grapefruit three times a day to get relief.
As far as homeopathic remedies are concerned, one can rely on the medicinal plant, chamomile. The dried flowers of this plant are effective for combating inflammation and allergic reactions. Boil water in a saucepan and add chamomile to it. Inhale the fumes with deep breaths to get relief. This herbal medicine helps reduce the inflammation of the nasal passages.
Butterbur is used as an effective home remedy for allergies. Both the pure extract and oral tablets are helpful in alleviating symptoms like a runny nose, watery eyes, congestion, and other allergy symptoms. It is claimed that butterbur blocks the allergy-triggering chemicals in the body. However, there is no clinical proof that supports the anti-inflammatory action of this medicinal herb.
Self Care Tips
Avoid stepping out early in the morning and late in the evening. This is because of the increased pollen percentage in air during these times of the day. Also, smoking is not recommended during the hay fever episodes.
There are over-the-counter antihistamines that are formulated for allergy relief. The oral antihistamine, acrivastine, gives instant relief from the allergy symptoms. Sold in the form of capsules, it blocks the histamine receptors, thereby preventing the body's response to histamine. Another oral OTC antihistamine for this condition is citrizine, which lasts longer than acrivastine.
Pregnant women who are susceptible to hay fever may experience aggravated symptoms in spring and summer seasons. During pregnancy, coping up with the symptoms is very difficult. However, one should not blindly follow any home remedies or take antihistamines, steroid nasal sprays, medicine, etc. without medical supervision. Antihistamines sold under the trade names Loratidine and Chlorphenamine are considered safe for pregnant women. The best way is to consult a doctor to get correct treatment.
Avoiding the allergy condition from occurring is the best treatment approach. Make a habit of applying petroleum jelly in the nose to avoid settling of the pollen grains in the nasal passages. Other preventive measures include, adding vitamin C-rich foods in diet, reducing exposure to allergens, keeping the house clean by regular vacuuming, and keeping windows closed to reduce pollen grains indoors.