Seasonal allergies are reactions which the body produces in response to certain foreign particles, especially pollen. These are different from perennial allergies in terms of the nature of the allergen. Seasonal allergens are mainly pollen from plants and trees which flourish and grow in that particular season. Perennial allergies, as the name suggests are caused due to allergens which are present in the atmosphere all year round, such as allergy from pets, dust, food, and so on.
This allergy is commonly referred to as "hay fever". The symptoms of this allergy include runny nose, itchy eyes, itching in nose, and congestion.
Types of Seasonal Allergies
The various types are categorized according to the season.
- Spring allergies are caused due to pollen of trees such as elm, oak, maple, and walnut.
- Summer allergies are caused due to grass pollen. In this condition people develop itching and hives.
- Fall allergies are mainly due to pollen from weeds such as ragweed, pigweed, and sagebrush.
To know exactly the kind of pollen or other allergens that affect you, an allergy test (RAST) is required. Once you know the type of pollen that affects you, it is important to stay away from that allergen. Sometimes exposure to these allergens is inevitable and this is where some natural remedies are useful.
Although various over-the-counter medicines are available in the market to get relief from these allergies, a few natural products also prove to be very effective and safe to treat mild allergies. A few of them are listed below.
- A European herb known as butterbur has proven to be effective for grass allergies.
- A nasal spray made from the goldenseal herb is also effective in certain allergies. This herb acts as an astringent, and also has antibacterial properties. It washes out the pollen and other allergens from the body.
- The nettle herb is amongst the most commonly used herbs for relieving this problem. Nettle herb tablets and tinctures are also available in the market which can be used to reduce the itching and sneezing associated with an allergy.
- Grape seed extract and quercetin (a flavonoid) along with vitamin C reduces allergy symptoms to a great extent.
Relief for Children
Kids can be prone to seasonal allergies due to the number of outdoor activities they participate in. The park or the playground is the most common place where children come in contact with these allergens. It is therefore impossible to avoid these allergies in children. However, keeping a tab on the child's activities is the best way to prevent them. See to it that your child takes a shower after coming back from the park. As allergic reactions are generally triggered in the morning, it is best not to let them go out early in the morning. Vitamin supplements are the best way to enhance immunity and fight infections. However, always consult a pediatrician before administering any medicine to your child.
'Prevention is better than cure', hence, always see to it that your home is free of allergens such as pollen. Windows should be kept closed during a windy weather, as the chances of pollen being blown into your home is quite high. However, if you do suffer from seasonal allergies some home remedies can provide you relief.
- Garlic cloves mixed with honey cures nasal congestion and cough.
- Squeeze half a lemon in lukewarm water and add a teaspoon of honey to it. Drink this once a day.
- In case of nasal congestion, wipe your nose and neck with a warm wet cloth. This reduces the congestion.