Hay Fever, go away!

hayfever - what is it and how to treat naturally
hayfever - what is it and how to treat naturally

It has been 4 weeks since I had joint septoplasty, turbinoplasty and rhinoplasty. Things are nearly back to normal, there is just one thing ruining my vibe… hay fever! For 3 weeks now I have been waking up almost every day sneezing, with itchy eyes and a runny nose. Over my 29 years on this earth I have had hay fever as many times as I can count on my hands. When that has happened I have done what most people do – take anti histamine, the symptoms go away and you can get on with your day. That is all very well once in a while, but to have to take anti histamine in the morning and then at night for 21 days is not good. I decided to take matters into my own hands and do some research into what exactly causes hay fever, how to prevent it and how to relieve symptoms naturally.

What is hay fever?

Allergic rhinitis, commonly known as hay fever, affects around 1 in 5 people in Australia and New Zealand and between 20% - 40% of the Western population. Rhinitis means ‘inflammation of the nose’ and the term allergic describes ‘a normal but exaggerated response to a substance’. Fever is absent, however symptoms do include a runny nose, blocked nose, sneezing, itchy nose and watery eyes.

Allergic rhinitis takes two different forms:

Seasonal: Symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis typically occur in Spring, Summer and early Autumn. Symptoms are usually caused by allergic sensitivity to airborne mold spores or to pollens from grass, trees and weeds.

Perennial: People with perennial allergic rhinitis experience symptoms year-round. It is generally caused by dust mites, pet hair or dander, cockroaches or mold.

What causes hay fever?

Hay fever is caused by the nose and/or eyes coming into contact with environmental allergens, such as pollens, dust mite, moulds and animal hair. The allergic response in allergic rhinitis is located in the nasal mucosa (tissue that lines the nasal cavity). I wont bore you with the rest of the pathophysiology; so if you want to read more, visit here.

Treatment?

Whenever possible it is best to prevent exposure.  For example, symptoms that become worse at night suggest a household allergen and symptoms that disappear on the weekends suggest occupational exposure. In those cases you would look at getting rid of the allergen in your house or workplace, if possible.  Then there are all of the basic things you can do inside your house - Keep windows closed when pollen/mold counts are high. Prevent mold in the kitchen, bathrooms and household plants. Remove some or all carpets and unnecessary furnishings like throw pillows. Use synthetic pillows and encase mattresses in allergy-free covers.

Make sure your house is free of dust and dirt.

After doing a bit of research I am pretty sure that there is something in my house causing my hay fever symptoms so this week I dusted every single surface, vacuumed every nook and cranny and gave my dogs a good bath.

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If you suffer from allergies, asthma or have pets I cannot recommend the Dyson V6 Absolute enough. I got my hands on one about 6 months ago and it has been used every single day. I am a little bit obsessed with it. There are different heads – one for wooden floors, one for carpet, one for pet hair and one to get into small crevices. I had an industrial strength vacuum before which I thought was pretty powerful, but it is nothing compared to the Dyson V6 Absolute. The amount of dust and hair it picks up blows my mind, especially as it is such a small machine. Worth every single penny! Does anyone else get excited by appliances?!

Nasal rinsing

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This is something I have had to do since getting my nasal cast off and wow it feels amazing once you have cleaned your nose out. It’s like a deep cleanse right through your sinuses and is fantastic for people who suffer from hay fever, allergies or if you have the flu to help clear out mucous. One study found that doing nasal irrigation three times a day reduced allergy symptoms after about 3 to 6 weeks. I got my nasal rinsing kit from my Ear Throat and Nose specialist, however most chemists stock them, and they are really cheap!

Probiotics

Probiotics may have an important role in the prevention and treatment of allergic rhinitis.  We generally think of taking a probiotic to help with our gut, and if you delve deeper it is easy to see the connection between probiotics, gut health, immunity and allergens.  Published studies indicate that probiotics are beneficial in treating hay fever.

Vitamin C

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Vitamin C has antihistamine properties and preliminary research suggests it might help reduce allergy symptoms if taking 2,000 mg per day.  I highly recommend taking BioBalance Lipsomal Vitamin C.  My bottle had run out about a month ago and a new bottle arrived yesterday so I am going to start on it again and see if it helps.

Homeopathy

At Uni I spoke to my teacher about possible homeopathy remedies that could help with hay fever.  Few studies have looked at the effectiveness of specific homeopathic therapies, however practising homeopaths may suggest the following remedies for the treatment of allergic rhinitis symptoms based on their clinic experience and knowledge > Homeopathyplus.com

Acupuncture

The World Health Organization recognises acupuncture as an effective treatment for about 30 conditions, and 2013 research found that it could ease symptoms of hay fever.  There have been a few more studies published to show that acupuncture works.

So when it comes to hay fever, what works best for you to get rid of symptoms? Jx