5 natural ways you can treat your hayfever during this pollen season
Many people who don’t suffer from seasonal allergies such as hayfever see it as a trivial matter as it is essentially having an allergic reaction to nature. But as you will find in this article, that is not the case…
During the winter months, most people can’t wait for summer, there’s the sun shining, holidays to go on, or perhaps even a few camping trips! But for those who suffer from hayfever have a different experience of the summer months.
Tablets, nasal sprays and many more treatments are available for sufferers of hayfever but they don’t always necessarily work. In fact, coming from experience, the tablets I’ve taken haven’t ever really worked!
So today, I’m going through five natural ways you can treat your hayfever during this allergy season.
But first, let us go through what hayfever is and why it affects so many people.
What is hayfever?
When trees and flowers are in bloom and the grass is being freshly cut it releases pollen which causes allergic reactions to up to 60 million people every year. The medical term for hayfever is allergic rhinitis, it doesn’t just occur in the spring but can go into summer and even autumn.
As we all know hayfever is mainly caused by pollen and there are three different types of pollen:
- Tree pollen
- Grass pollen
- Weed pollen
Tree pollen is usually triggered from February and May. Grass pollen usually occurs between May and June. Weed pollen is prone to start in June and last until the end of September. If you’re allergic to just one of these pollens, consider yourself lucky (even if it doesn’t feel like it!) as some people experience hayfever from all these types of pollen. That means they suffer from February until the end of September each year.
Hayfever frequently starts at a young age but it can hit anyone, at any time. Fortunately, these allergies can go away over the years but that doesn’t mean they can’t come back in later life.
Every flower, tree and weed has pollen which it releases during the spring and summer months, however, not everyone who suffers from hayfever will necessarily be sensitive or have allergic reactions to all types of pollen so it’s important you know what kind of pollen you are affected by as then you can treat it better and more effectively.
Symptoms of hayfever
Seasonal allergies like hayfever make you feel awful and really get in the way of quality of life.
It can even get in the way of your job. A study found that hayfever symptoms can be so severe that they’ve had to call in sick since they can’t concentrate on what they’re doing. A study found that 1 in 5 hayfever suffers has had to take time off work due to their allergy.
The main symptoms, itchy eyes, sneezing fits and runny noses make 4 in 10 people struggle to do their job.
Many of the symptoms of hayfever are like that of a sinus infection or the common cold. However, sinus infections and colds go a lot quicker than seasonal allergies like hayfever.
Symptoms of hayfever and other seasonal allergies include things like, scratchy throats and losing concentration and focus, sneezing fits etc. these things can get in the way of your work, school work, and just, in general, your quality of life during the summer months.
During hayfever season, there are some foods you should probably avoid. This includes foods such as bananas, cucumbers, sugar and more which you can see below. But don’t worry though as there’s a nice selection of food that you can enjoy during the summer months too.
If you combine certain foods which are mentioned above with supplements, then your chances of fighting off your seasonal allergies are much higher. It’s best to start taking supplements about 1-2 months before they usually tend to kick in if you want to get the best results.
A recent study has shown that spirulina, phototherapy and butterbur have the best effects when it comes to treating seasonal allergies such as hayfever.
Vitamin A helps boost the immune system and fights inflammation which also has antihistamine properties. If you take 2,000 micrograms a day, that should do it.
Zinc helps to heal adrenal fatigue which is caused by chronic stress. Stress worsens the symptoms of seasonal allergies as well as helping to organise how your body stores histamine. If you take around 30 milligrams of Zinc a day then you should see results in no time.
Probiotics alter the intestinal flora in your gut and help boost the immune system to fight off seasonal allergies. They show quite a bit of promise in the prevention of allergies. Despite probiotics still being in the early stages of its development, there are studies from the European annuals of Allergy and Clinical Immunology that support that it could be an effective supplement for allergy treatment. If you have 2-6 capsules a day then you’ll be running in the fields in no time.
Studies have shown that the flavonoid which gives fruits and vegetables their colour, quercetin can stop the production and release the histamine.
However, quercetin may interfere with a few medications such as cyclosporine, antibiotics and other types of medicines changed by the liver.
If you’re not taking medication changed by the liver and you want to take quercetin, then take around 1,000 milligrams per day.
By taking a teaspoon of spirulina a day then your seasonal allergies might just clear up. Spirulina is a supplement which has been thoroughly researched and the results are quite promising.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Centre, the supplement spirulina prevents the release of histamine that causes symptoms. Research has shown that by consuming spirulina, you drastically improve symptoms including, sneezing, nasal congestion, nasal discharge and itching.
In the past butterbur has generally been used to treat asthma and bronchitis, however, recent studies have shown that it is effective amongst hayfever sufferers as well as those with different seasonal allergies.
However, it should be pointed out that children, pregnant or breastfeeding women should not take butterbur supplements for their seasonal allergies.
How to adapt your lifestyle to allergy season
As we are no in the heart of allergy season, it’s time to start making some changes to your lifestyle. Don’t worry though, these are drastic changes, just simple things to help you with hayfever and other seasonal allergies.
Shower before bed
When you’re ready to finish the day by getting a good night’s sleep, your hayfever symptoms may have calmed down, however, when you wake up in the morning they might tend to spark up again for what will sound like, no apparent reason! However, there is a reason for the random sneezing fits you may have in the morning.
As you go through the day, you collect pollen on your clothes and your hair, so before you go to have a shower and those morning sneezing fits should be a thing of the past! Unless you keep the window open all night!
Do some spring cleaning
Or should I say summer cleaning! Nothing? Not even a giggle?
Okay never mind, but one thing you should adjust yourself to doing during the allergy season is cleaning up your home!
That doesn’t just mean going over the TV with a feather duster either! It means putting away or throwing away anything you don’t need in your home since it gathers dust and allergens which makes your symptoms worse. Focus on your bedroom though as I’m sure you don’t want to sleep in an allergy filled room whilst you sleep.
Keep drinking fluids
You’ve probably heard this one a thousand times but remember to drink plenty of water! In fact, it is recommended that you drink up to ten glasses of water a day.
When you’re dehydrated, it’s harder for you to dispel mucus.
Keep your pets clean
Another thing to keep in mind during this pollen season is to wipe down your pets. Your pets spend a lot of time outdoors and when they come back into the home, they are covered in pollen.
Wipe them down with a damp washcloth to limit your exposure to pollen.
Close your doors and windows
Even though the weather is hot, and you couldn’t think of anything better than a nice breeze flowing through your home, it’s best for your allergies if you keep your windows and doors closed during the allergy season.
Especially when pollen counts are high, it is vital to limit exposure.
As a hayfever sufferer, you might find it hard to have an enjoyable social life during pollen season especially as an adolescent being right in the middle of festival season!
However, if you adjust your lifestyle, change what you eat and take the appropriate supplements then you might be able to fight back at hayfever and other seasonal allergies once and for all and enjoy your summer.