What is hay fever?
A health article about hay fever fromYour Health Online the A to Z directory of dealing with Health Problems & nutritional Self Care Strategies
Allergic hay fever, more commonly known as “hay fever,” happens when you breathe in something you are allergic to.
The inside of your nose becomes inflamed or swollen.
When this happens, the body’s immune system overreacts to specific particles such as plant pollens, molds, dust mites, animal hair, industrial chemicals, tobacco smoke, foods, medicines, and even insect venom.
Allergic hay fever affects 40 million people in the United States and is an extremely common condition, affecting approximately 20% of the population.
While allergic hay fever is not a life-threatening condition, complications can occur and the condition can impair one’s quality of life leading to a number of indirect costs.
Recently, the total direct and indirect cost of allergic hay fever was estimated at around $5 billion annually.
Hay fever is a chronic condition characterized by sneezing, nasal congestion, runny and itching nose, palate, ears and eyes. If you recognize any of these symptoms chances are, you or some member of your family has experienced hay fever at one time or another.
Most people know it as hay fever and if you've got it - - as 22 million Americans do - - you're likely to be plagued during the spring and fall seasons by such annoying symptoms as sneezing, congestion, runny nose, itchy throat and red, watery eyes. Allergy has different names.
Allergy reactions occurring in the nose and sinus are called "sinus" or "hay fever" or "allergic hay fever." And when allergy reactions occur in the chest we call it "asthma." Allergy reactions in the skin are named "hives" or "angioedema." So you see, allergy has different names depending upon where in your body it occurs.
Signs & Symptoms
Signs of allergic hay fever are similar to signs of a common cold. But, unlike symptoms for the common cold, allergic hay fever can last for more than 8-10 days. Symptoms include:
-stuffy or runny nose
-itchy or watery nose
-itchy or watery eyes
-coughing (caused by clear mucus running down the back of the throat)
-feeling of a 'permanent cold' that never goes away
-headaches and earache
-constant sore throats and postnasal drip
-sleep disturbances and snoring
-loss of taste and smell
Children who have allergic hay fever might have dark circles under their eyes known as Allergic shiners" (related to nasal congestion).
They may also use either the palm or the back of their hand to push their nose up as they try to stop the itching (called the “allergic salute”).
Types of hay fever
Additionally, complications from allergic hay fever can be serious. The same allergens that cause hay fever can reach the lungs causing asthma and other complications. Sinusitis (inflammation of the sinus cavities) and nasal polyps (small outgrowths of the mucous membrane of the nose) may develop.
Secondary infections of the ear, larynx and bronchial tubes may occur. Also, prolonged year-round nasal stuffiness and mouth breathing may lead to facial bone growth changes in children.
What Causes hay fever?
Seasonal allergies are one type of allergic hay fever.
If you recall our chapter on allergic hay fever you know that it is a type of allergy where breathing in an allergen becomes the source of an inflammatory reaction in the membranes of the nose.
With this seasonal allergy, inflammation happens only during a particular period. This is most likely caused by molds, pollens, or other substances that are in the air during specific seasons.
If one becomes afflicted with allergies only during definite seasons of the year, or if they become aggravated during those times, you might be suffering seasonal allergies.
Like our previous discussion, allergic hay fever is caused by substances that trigger allergies, called allergens. These allergens are found both indoors and outdoors.
When allergic hay fever is caused by common outdoor allergens, like mold or trees, grass and weed pollens, it is often referred to as seasonal allergies, or “hay fever.”
Allergic hay fever may also be triggered by allergens found in your house like animal dander (tiny skin flakes and saliva), indoor mold, and cockroach or house dust mite droppings.
If you experience symptoms during spring, you may be allergic to tree pollens which we will discuss in detail further on.
To know for certain what causes your symptoms, an allergist or immunologist can perform skin tests to determine what you are allergic to.
A wide array of substances can pose the risk of becoming respiratory allergens. It would be hard to discover the specific allergen that produces one's symptoms.
Common cursors for seasonal allergies are fungus or mold and pollen.
Pollen grains are common causes triggering seasonal allergic episodes.
Pollen from ragweed is the more usual allergens responsible for almost 3/4 (or 75%) of such allergy cases. However, pollen from any grass or tree can trigger allergic symptoms.
Pollen sources and counts in each area change with location, general weather conditions, and the kind of plants present.
For example, in Northern America, pollen allergies generally follow this schedule of early to mid-spring for tree pollen; somewhere late in spring towards early on in summer, grass pollen abound; while the season for weed pollen falls around autumn.
Small bits of molds and their spores bear allergens that are hard to avoid since they are present anywhere.
Most molds grow on decomposing plant matter but may also be present on living plants. Reaping ones harvests and disturbing the soil releases molds.
Varieties of molds free spores whether the air is dry or has moist.
The immune system of a person with an allergy tries to combat allergens.
It looks upon the small driftwood of everyday life – house dust, pollen, animal dander, and mold – as outsiders that are sure to do some dreadful damage.
In order to recognize and capture these strangers, it is important that people know who the culprits are.
They should try to educate themselves on how allergies work and what causes them because these are the only means to find the solution to the problem.
Basically, allergies are agitated reactions of the immune system to certain foreign substances to the human body. These stuffs are known as “allergens.”
Allergens are then classified into four categories based on where they have come from. By knowing these four classifications of allergens, an individual could identify where he is allergic.
The four classifications of allergens are physical, biological, mental, and chemical. All of these four resources of allergens trigger even the slightest allergy in the human body.
There are some people that heavily react to these allergens while others do not even realize they are having an allergic attack.
The first classification of allergens is physical. Here, allergens can come from technological devices such as infrared, microwaves and radio, atomic radiation, visible light, X-rays, ultraviolet light, etc.
The allergens that can be derived from these sources would bring on an allergic reaction to an individual who responds whenever they get in contact with any of these devices.
The second classification is the biological sources. Allergens can be derived from infections, food and beverages, plant and animal proteins, etc.
In this classification, biological sources are the main resource of allergens.
Usually, the known culprits are the animal proteins in the animal dander or flakes of dead skin, urine, or saliva of the animal. These proteins are usually spread throughout the house wherever a pet roams.
Hence, even if there is no cat present in the room, a person who is allergic to these kinds of allergens will have an allergy attack because of the remains of the animal’s proteins.
The next classification is the allergens that come from mental sources. The allergy attack usually happens when the allergens are too excessive that it devastates the immune system. Hence, it is having difficulty to cope with its normal function.
No wonder why excessive emotions can also trigger an asthma attack, a known disease caused by allergies.
The last classifications are those that come from chemical resources. There are people who are allergic to some types of medications.
That is why it is extremely important to test the product first before administering it to the patient to avoid more serious problems that might even cause death.
Knowing all of these causes of allergies is definitely important in order to avoid further problems. The first step in preventing contact with the numerous allergens is to figure out what they are.
After figuring them out, the next step is to stay away from them as much as possible. Ignorance of allergies and allergens will definitely cause serious trouble, especially if the problem is really risky.
This should be resolved because there are people who are not yet aware what causes their allergies.
There are also instances wherein they do not know that allergens are already present in their home, and they do not know how to combat them.
For this reason, it is also important to submit a person for allergy testing, especially those who are showing visible signs of allergic reaction. This is when an allergy test can yield much useful information.
Normally, if a person is having persistent allergic symptoms, but he cannot isolate the allergen, it is a good idea to see an allergist, get tested, and find out what the allergens are.
In this way, people can easily find out what causes their allergy and resolve the problem.
Common seasonal allergy symptoms include:
• Bouts of sneezing
• Itchy nose
• Watery eyes
• Itchy palate and throat
• Nasal congestion
• Runny nose
• Ear popping and fullness
• Sensations of pressure on cheeks and forehead
Who is at risk? One out of every six Americans suffers from an allergic condition. Allergy is an inherited trait, a genetic susceptibility towards the production of certain allergy anti-bodies. Hay fever is basically an allergic reaction to pollens from trees, weed and grasses.
Unlike garden flower pollen, which is carried by insects, the dry lightweight pollens which cause allergic hay fever are generally spread by wind currents which make them difficult to avoid.
In fact, samples of ragweed pollen have been found 400 miles at sea! While most people suffer mild discomfort with hay fever, it is estimated that more than 40 percent of the 5.8 million children who have respiratory allergies miss some school, stay in bed or feel upset by the condition.
Among all known diseases, allergies are placed among the most universally manifesting diseases among humans.
It does not discriminate among the individuals to be infected.
People of all ages, gender, culture, nationality and skin color have equal chances of developing them.
Perhaps, the determining factor in the emergence of the symptoms characteristic of a specific type of allergy is the level of exposure to certain allergen.
Allergic people develop characteristic symptoms which are not found in a normal individual should they be exposed to a certain allergens.
For example, an individual allergic to dust develops typical condition such as sneezing, shortness of breath, abnormal or increased production of nasal and bronchial mucus enough to suffocate an individual.
Allergen is a type of antigen. Antigen is a particle which the body recognizes as foreign and attacks it via its own biological machineries.
Who are at Risk in Developing Allergies?
Not all individuals react the same to different allergens.
While some individuals may only develop slight symptoms upon allergic attack, others exposed to the same dosage can become a life-threatening factor for them.
Through the study of allergies and allergic attacks, it is apparent that some individuals have a higher probability of acquiring an allergic condition compared to other individuals exposed to the same particle.
Each age level is particularly prone to a certain allergen. This fact should provide you with an idea on how you can at least minimize, if not perfectly avoid, the attack of allergy.
Age is one factor in the development of such condition since it is one of the critical stages by which an individual starts biologically identifying the components of his or her surroundings.
Younger individuals are more prone to developing allergic reactions to particulate materials in their environment.
Research shows that 7 to 8 out of 10 newly born infants have a large predisposition in acquiring hypersensitivity to anything in their surroundings.
Moreover, 1 out of 7 American adults suffer from at least one type of allergic condition.
Record shows that more than 35 million Americans suffer from allergic rhinitis (discussed in an upcoming chapter;) developing extreme biological withdrawal for the presence of pollens.
Some adults are allergic to food and other processed food products such as milk (lactose intolerance).
Some even develop allergic reactions among substances used in clothing such as color dyes and bleaching chemical agent (contact dermatitis) and other forms of medications such as penicillin and other antibiotics (drug hypersensitivity).
Some young adults who have experienced lesser attacks or were not put into any allergic state earlier in their life are apt to develop such condition should adequate trigger attacks (allergen particles) are present.
Current research at the Medical College of Georgia, Section of Allergy and Immunology shows that children who grew up with dogs and cats, typical allergic sources, have significantly shown to have lesser allergic tendencies than children who don’t have any pets at home.
More than 50% of the 474 children who were placed on an experimental study from birth until 7 years old did not develop allergic reactions to dogs and showed an increased resistance to outdoor allergens such as dust, fungus, and mites, among others.
Avoiding Allergen Exposure
Learning how to avoid exposure to specific allergens goes a long way in bringing comfort and relief from allergy symptoms. It also reduces the symptoms and improves tolerance to unavoidable allergens carried in the air.
If you know which substances are causing your allergies, there are measures you can take to reduce exposure. As pollen and mold are the most common seasonal allergens, you should know how to minimize contact with these.
Generally, pollen counts are highest during early morning hours (5 to 10 am.). Wearing a dust mask during lawn and garden work will help. Planning outdoor activities like camping around seasons with high pollen count will also help.
Taking frequent showers or baths to remove pollen from hair and skin reduces pollen exposure after activities outdoors. Showering before bed will also help keep contaminants out of your bedding.
Keeping windows and doors closed reduces indoor exposure to pollen.
Circulating air with window or attic fans is not recommended since it will increase indoor pollen levels. Installing air conditioning in the house and car may relieve seasonal allergy symptoms.
Avoid hanging items out to dry, as pollen can cling to these, which may be brought into your home.
Working on a farm or just in the garden will bring you in contact with molds, while activities such as mowing, threshing, or working with compost causes the highest mold levels.
Sensitive persons should wear facemasks that are tight enough to limit air infiltration around the edges. As with pollen, it is helpful to stay inside when mold count is high, such as when the lawn is freshly mown.
Molds also grow indoors and are found in carpeting, bedding, and upholstered furniture.
Basements and bathrooms are common mold areas, but they can also be found in houseplants and in anything that is stored, but has some level of humidity.
You can prevent mold growth by eliminating its conditions. Look out for damp areas, like drains, crawl spaces, or basements, and keep them clean and dry. Disinfecting these areas with diluted bleach helps.
Also, regularly steam or dry clean rugs, upholstery, and beddings, either by yourself or by a professional.
When to seek Medical Advice:
Surprisingly, many parents realize that their children have asthma before their physicians do. An accurate diagnosis, however, is most important in helping to determine an appropriate individualized treatment program.
Physicians specializing in allergy/immunology have special skills in the area of asthma management. The allergy and asthma specialist will detect and determine those environmental elements (pollens, molds, dust mites, animal danders, workplace chemicals) which may be the cause of a patient's asthmatic condition.
A careful medical history, physical examination, selective allergy skill testing and lung function studies are typically performed. Occasionally, blood tests, home and workplace evaluations, and x-rays of the sinuses and lungs are required.
Unlike hay fever, asthma is a more complex disease involving a reversible constriction of the muscles lining the human airways,. It is more often associated with allergy immune cells and can get progressively worse reaching life-threatening stages if not properly controlled. It can be treated more effectively when it is diagnosed early.
The best therapy of all, however, is avoidance of those things which produce asthma symptoms. This includes allergens, such as house dust mites, pets and irritants, such as tobacco smoke and chemical fumes.
Due to developments in recent years, it is now possible for most people to get relief from their seasonal allergy symptoms by using prescription and/or over-the-counter medications.
But before trying any of these treatments, consult with your doctor to get an accurate diagnosis of your condition. If prescription medication therapy is appropriate for your condition, make sure your doctor is aware of all the other drugs and supplements you are taking.
The major categories of allergy treatments include antihistamines, decongestants, anti-inflammatory medications and anticholingergics. Your doctor may suggest that you use one or a combination of these, depending on your symptoms and its severity.
As you learn more about your own seasonal allergic symptoms, the more you will be better able to avoid the causes and go for more effective treatments.
Over-the-counter antihistamines and nose sprays can help at first, but they can have a number of unpleasant side effects. These antihistamines can make you feel tired and drowsy while nasal sprays can make your stuffiness worse.
Doctor-prescribed nose sprays and antihistamines are different types of medication and are very helpful for controlling long-term symptoms. Some are safe for young children and all are safe for adults.
Consultation with an allergist will determine the medicine and treatment that is right for you.
What are allergy shots?
For some patients, allergy shots, also known as immunotherapy, are very helpful, and safe.
Allergy shots help how your body handles allergens by injecting into your body small amounts of the substances causing your allergy.
Over the period of the therapy, your body will learn to accept the allergen without overreacting to it (which is the reason for the allergic reactions).
Your doctor may talk to you about allergy shots if your allergy symptoms are very bad and if they happen for most of the year.
You can also consider this if you are constantly around the allergens (such as pollens and dust mites) and if in spite medicines, you are still symptomatic.
Allergy medications come in pill, liquid, spray, eye drop and topical forms. Some can be bought over-the-counter while others require prescriptions.
Always remember though that in taking medications whether OTC (over-the-counter) doctor-prescribed, consult with your doctor and inform him/her of your medical history before starting any allergy treatments.
Histamines are chemicals released by the immune system as part of the reaction to an allergen. This substance is responsible for the inflammation or swelling of nasal passage, the skin or any other part affected by an allergy.
As the name suggests, antihistamines prevent histamines to cause such reactions reducing redness, swelling, hives and watery eyes. They are prescribed in the form of liquids, sprays, pills and drops.
With the exception of some OTC creams, corticosteroids require a doctor’s prescription. Forms of corticosteroids include:
- Eye drops relieve symptomatic itching and redness of the eyes due to hay fever. Contra-indications include eye infections, glaucoma, and pregnancy. So if any of these apply to you, avoid using corticosteroid eye drops. Contact lens users are also more susceptible to eye infections when using these eye drops.
Since it is administered directly to the affected area, nasal sprays are the preferred treatment for hay fever or allergic rhinitis to relieve stuffiness, runny nose and sneezing. However, relief may take time to set in and in some cases, only after regular use. Some of the side effects are an unpleasant taste, irritation that may cause nose bleeding especially during the winter months.
- Creams that come in varying strengths of dosages are good for itching and scaling skin. However, be cautious of continued use as they can sometimes cause skin irritation.
- Oral corticosteroids are prescribed for short periods to address more acute forms of allergic symptoms. But the long-term use of such has been known to cause side effects like cataracts and osteoporosis so prescription is regulated.
These medicines work similarly to antihistamines in that they block the substances released by your immune system to aggravate allergic reactions.
Leukotriene modifiers have been proven to treating allergic asthma and rhinitis.
Anaphylactic shock is a violent allergic reaction that affects key body functions such as the respiratory and cardiovascular system.
This kind of reaction is similar to throwing a monkey wrench into a machine that puts the system in jeopardy. The danger of that kind of reaction is therefore very high.
If you’ve been diagnosed as very likely to exhibit violent allergic reactions to substances like bee stings or crustaceans (crabs, shrimps), you run the risk of going into anaphylactic shock.
To be safe, your doctor may recommend that you carry with you at all times an injection of epinephrine.
Epinephrine is a powerful drug that slows down an allergic reaction while emergency medical treatment is being sought out to attend to you.
Your doctor should be able to tell you how to use the self-injecting syringe and needle. It will also do you good to teach others as well in cases of emergency.
If your condition doesn’t see improvement in spite of medications or if taking them will incur adverse side effects, your doctor may recommend immunotherapy, which is the process of training your immune system not to react to substances that used to cause allergies for you.
This can take as long as three to five years to finish. It is done by introducing extracts of the allergen into your body through a series of regulated injections. The goal is to make your body desensitized to the substance, which will eliminating or decrease your need to take medicines.
This method is especially effective for people allergic to substances that are found everywhere and cannot be avoided (such as dust and pollen). The procedure is also helpful in arresting the development of asthma in children.
There are about as many allergy medications as there are allergies themselves. By knowing and understanding how these medications work and with your doctor’s advice, you develop a treatment plan that works best for you.
Treatments – (A) Natural Remedies:
A lot of people nowadays turn to a holistic health lifestyle and rally for natural remedies like homeopathy or herbs to recover from certain illnesses. Natural remedies or alternative medicine encompasses a number of non-traditional ways for a healthier lifestyle.
Some of these natural remedies are:
Apitherapy is one of the natural remedies which makes use of bee products to help someone recover from a certain illness or condition. There are about 500 diseases that Apitherapy can heal.
2. Applied Kinesiology
Applied kinesiology can pinpoint body dysfunctions by identifying weak muscles.
Aromatherapy is the science of using essential plant oils for the betterment of one's well-being.
The most common carrier oils are: sweet almond, olive, avocado, borage, apricot kernel, cocoa butter, sunflower, evening primrose, peanut, grape seed, hazelnut, sesame, jojoba, kukui, macadamia nut, pecan, rose hip, and shea butter.
Considered the oldest health care system in the world that originated from India, Ayurveda stems from three biological principles: Vata which is the regulation of movement, Pitta for regulation of metabolism and Kapha for structure.
Biofeedback is one of the natural remedies that use the body's signals for the improvement of health.
Bodywork employs deep tissue massage, balance of energy and movement awareness to improve one's health. It does not necessarily involve body touch but it takes care of the body's healing response.
One of the natural remedies to watch out for is buteyko which involves breathing exercises to help asthmatic people.
8. Chinese Medicine
Chinese medicine has always been known as one of the most popular natural remedies. Chinese Medicine is rooted from the Taoist belief – the law of Yin and Yang. The person will experience less illness if the Yin and Yang is well-balanced.
Chinese medicine is famous for its herbs like the Ren Shen, Dang Gui, Dan Shen, Mu Li, Du Huo and Fang Feng.
One cannot talk about Chinese medicine without mentioning acupuncture. Acupuncture is able to diagnose the illness by the flow of Qi (energy).
9. Color Therapy
Color Therapy uses the spectrum to enhance the energy center or Chakra of the body and also improve the body's healing process.
10. Flower Essences
Dr. Edward Bach discovered in 1930 that flowers contain energy that can put human discord to an equilibrium.
11. Gemstone Therapy
There is such a thing as a healing gemstone that can alleviate ill body conditions. A gemologist must be consulted as "synthetic gems" are useless.
Natural remedies are immediately associated with herbs. Herbs are classified into aromatic, astringent, bitter, mucilaginous and nutritive.
Proven to improve health, herbs are great sources of vitamins and minerals.
Vitamin A can be found in alfalfa, saw palmetto and dock, whereas bee pollen, juniper berry and peppermint are rich in Vitamin C.
For one's calcium fix, there's aloe vera and fennel seed.
Homeopathy involves the use of active ingredients in small doses together with natural substances for a healthier balance.
Iridology is diagnosing through the irises, as they are human parts that show signs of physical and mental illnesses.
Macrobiotics is achieving over-all wellness by changing one's lifestyle, diet and attitude. It comes from the words macro which means great, and bios which means life.
What can be more natural than just looking for a quiet spot and muse deeply on series of subjects that will eventually lead to enlightenment? Stress is dramatically reduced and the body is recharged by deeply meditating.
18. Music Therapy
Music is language of the soul, so it is not surprising that there is such a thing as music therapy. So far, music therapy has incurred differences and benefits to people who practiced it.
This is a fortified healthcare profession that is designed to do the following: promote well-being, express emotions, manage and combat stress, improve memory and alleviate aches and pains.
Naturopathic medicine's principles are based on the belief that natural balances make up for a well-balanced internal chemistry.
With those effective natural remedies, it is no wonder a lot of people have started employing each one of them in times of sickness. Most go for natural remedies just to maintain their healthy bodies.
(B) Avoiding Allergic Reactions
Most allergens attack and trigger allergic reaction if they find themselves on the skin or inside the eye.
Allergic reactions can happen through inhalation, ingestion or injectionand, as discussed previously, allergies can be seasonal as with the case of the hay fever or it can be drug or dust-induced and food-related.
The production of an antibody called immunoglobulin happens upon the first exposure to an allergen. This immunoglobulin or (IgE) attaches itself to basophiles, a type of white blood cell and mast cells.
The initial exposure may have a person extrasensitive to allergen but the symptoms may not be there. Subsequent exposures can eventually lead to more reactions and tissue irritations. Reactions can be mild or severe.
Avoiding an allergy simply translates to one commonsense fact: avoid the allergen.
This means the person has to discontinue using a drug, have the dust removed, put the pet outdoors, install effective air filters and simply avoid eating a particular food.
If the allergy is severe, the person may consider moving out and finding a place that does not contain the allergen.
Here are more ways to prevent an allergic reaction:
1. Ask the doctor for an allergy kit.
An allergy kit is used for severe allergic reactions, also called anaphylaxis. The kit must have the following: how-to’s on using the kit, sterilized cotton swabs for cleansing the skin before and after the injection, Epinephrine which comes in a syringe and some Antihistamine tablets.
Remember that the medications inside an allergy kit may lose their efficacy if exposed to direct sunlight or high temperature.
The patient must watch out for the color of Epinephrine. It must be clear. Once it turns pinkish brown, it must be thrown away.
2. You must wear a medical ID tag if you are susceptible to serious reaction so other people are alerted your allergy.
3. There must be a thorough discussion on allergy shots or immunotherapy with the doctor.
Allergy shots can reduce or totally ward off one's sensitivity to an allergen.
These shots are for the following allergies:
1. Pollen (trees, grasses and even ragweed)
2. Dust motes and cockroaches.
3. Dander from dogs and cats
5. Insect venom (from bees, hornets, wasps, yellow jackets and fire ants)
As children are more susceptible to allergic reactions, the parent must exert extra effort to keep any allergic reaction at bay.
Schools are often considered breeding ground for allergens so the parent and school administrators must work hand in hand.
The home must also be allergen-proof so the children can go about freely.
Allergic reactions are dangerous and fatal, if left untreated or if the person is more susceptible than usual.
It is mandatory that preventive measures must be carried out to avoid the severe symptoms.
For more information on allergic reactions, one must ask the family doctor.
Properly diagnosed and treated, allergies need not affect your life in any significant manner.
Self Care strategies for Living with hay fever
With summer come swarms of pollens and other airborne allergens. But even if you're extremely allergic, you can stop summer allergies in their tracks with these five techniques from AARP's magazine:
1. Saline sprays or rinses can help unclog a stuffy nose for several hours. Use instead of decongestant nasal sprays.
2. Up your intake of foods like red wine, apples, raspberries, broccoli, black and green tea, cherries, citrus fruit, and onions. These foods are not only good for you, they're also good sources of a substance called quercetin, which can block your body's release of allergy-inducing histamines.
3. Take your allergy medication right before bed. This ensures that you'll wake up already under the effect of the drug - and better prepared to face seasonal symptoms, which can be worse early in the morning.
4. Make your house a safe haven from pollen and other allergens by using an air conditioner rather than opening your windows. And dry your clothes in the dryer rather than hanging them on the clothesline to dry. These strategies will keep pollen out of your clothes, furniture, and bedding and keep you allergy-free while inside.
5. Never leave the house without your shades. Wearing sunglasses can keep your fingers - and any pollen they've picked up - out of your eyes. And your eyes will be protected from airborne spores.
As prevention is worth a pound of cure, there are some things you can do in your house that might make your symptoms better if not avoid them altogether:
For those who have hay fever, it may be best not to have pets. But if it cannot be helped, make sure to wash your pet (especially if hairy and furry) once a week. Keeping them out of the bedroom and off the furniture will help as well.
Put pillows and mattresses in sealed plastic covers that keep out dust mites, and wash sheets in hot water weekly. Washing machines at the local Laundromat will have hot enough water to kill the dust mites.
Keep windows closed. If possible, get an air conditioner and run a dehumidifier, so that there will not be so many pollens and molds getting in the house.
Diet change strategies:
Over more than a decade of working with nutrition supplement I have found and interesting phenomena. If your general wellness is high then your immune system is able to better protect you. A lot of people with allergies find that the allergies diminish and often disappear when the sufferer uses a strong nutrition program.
I am not taking about treating symptoms. I am talking about core wellness.
It appears that there needs to be a certain level of pollen, mites, cat hair, whatever is triggering the allergic reaction, in the environment before the effects of most allergies manifest themselves.
My experience is that when someone gets their personal wellness high and their immune system working properly then they can be in an environment where they previously would have had an allergic reaction but now they find that the reaction does not occur.
It appears that the allergy has been cured though I seriously doubt that this is the case. What is happening is that the level of contaminates that the body can cope with is much higher and so the symptoms are not being triggered.
I have seen people who are using asthma medication every day get to a point where they do not even carry their puffers to work. I recall sitting with a lady named Karen Winter (story below) and having lunch. She was a chronic fatigue sufferer and her food allergies were so bad that she had been restricted by her doctors to 5 different vegetables to be eaten raw or steamed and only drinking bottled water. The day I sat with her she was eating pizza. Her eyes sparkled as she explained her history as she had believed her life was over.
Some of the asthma people turn around in a matter of days, hay fever allergy can improve in just a couple of weeks, Karen Winter had been on her road to recovery for two years. The time can vary but the knowledge that there is hope is critical to knowing you are still in control of your life.
If you would like more information I suggest you read the pages here on Nutrition for the Cells and maybe check our A to Z page on Asthma.
Vitamin & Nutrient Associations
If you are having problems with hayfever it may be worth your time to consult an alternate therapy practitioner. Many people get great results after using herbal products to balance their system or through using herbal remedies when they are feeling the effects of hayfever or in an environment with high pollen or other factors that they find trigger attacks.
This problem, like so many others, may indicate that your body system is working to deal with underlying problems.
This may be a build up of toxins and poisons in your system and the symptoms you are experiencing is part of your bodies attempts to deal with them.
You may find benefit from our information on Detoxifying through change of diet.
It may be due to difficulties with your digestive system that is causing your body to be starved of key nutrients, vitamins or minerals.
In this case you may find useful answers by reviewing our article on Nutrition For Your Cells.
It may be that your metabolism has slowed due to pressures that have been placed on your system through life in general or through specific “challenges” you have faced in the last few months or last few years.
Review this by looking at our article about balancing your Metabolic Rate.
Further reading through our articles on health issues will give you a body of information that will help you decide what options you have to deal with the underlying causes of your problem through giving your body the nutrition products that will assist you body to heal from the inside out.
We wish you well in your search for solutions to this problem and your movement towards better health in all areas.
More Resources available about hay fever :
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American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
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EXTRACTS FOR ALLERGY TESTING:
U.S. Food and Drug Administration
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National Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases Information Clearinghouse
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American Academy of Dermatology
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National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse
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American Dietetic Association
216 W. Jackson Boulevard
Chicago, IL 60606-6995
Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network
10400 Eaton Place, Suite 107
Fairfax, VA 22030
American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
85 W. Algonquin Road, Suite 550
Arlington Heights, IL 60005
Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
1125 15th Street, N.W., Suite 502
Washington, DC 20036
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SITE DISCLAIMER: Do these products “cure” anything? Of course not… but it stands to reason that if you cleanse your body and feed it the finest nutrition available, giving it everything it needs in balance, on a daily basis, that your body will do what nature intended, and give you the best possible chance to fend off sickness and disease. This hay fever information is not presented by a medical practitioner and is for educational and informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any hay fever questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read. Any natural and/or dietary supplements that are not FDA approved or evaluated must be accompanied by a two-part disclaimer on the product label: that the statement has not been evaluated by FDA and that the product is not intended to "diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease”.
The hay fever resources on this site are not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. While all attempts have been made to verify information provided in this publication, neither the author nor the publisher assumes any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of the web site hay fever subject matter herein. The site hay fever contents are solely the opinion of the authors and should not be considered as a form of advice, direction and/or recommendation of any kind. If expert advice or counseling is needed, services of a competent professional should be sought. The author and the Publisher assume no responsibility or liability and specifically disclaim any warranty, express or implied for any products or services mentioned, or any techniques or hay fever practices described.
The purchaser or reader of this publication assumes responsibility for the use of these hay fever materials and information. Neither the author nor the Publisher assumes any responsibility or liability whatsoever on the behalf of any purchaser or reader of these hay fever materials. There is no guarantee of validity of accuracy. This website and its creators are not responsible for the content of any sites linked to