Just when you thought influenza and the cold were the only sniffling and sneezing conditions to worry about this season – take note that hay fever produces most of the same symptoms. Hay fever is actually one of the most common allergic conditions in the United States and affects about one in five people. To tame pesky symptoms, take heed to helpful home remedies for hay fever.
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What is Hay Fever?
Also known as ‘allergic rhinitis,’ hay fever is an easier way of referring to the cold-like condition that causes a runny nose, congestion, sneezing, and sinus pressure. However, you should become aware of a glaring difference between hay fever and a cold – a virus isn’t behind your symptoms. You’re having an allergic reaction to indoor or outdoor allergens in the air, like pollen, dust mites or pet dander. Unfortunately, some people battle hay fever all year-round.
Causes and Symptoms
Allergens cause hay fever in patients on a seasonal or year-round (perennial) basis. In the springtime, pollinating trees are to blame for hay fever symptoms. Other causes of allergic rhinitis include grasses and weeds producing pollen during the summer, fall weeds (like ragweed), and the reproductive cells of mold (spores) – active from late March until November, which peak in late summer and early fall .
The signs and symptoms of hay fever usually appear right after you’ve come in contact with a specific allergy-causing substance. Common reactions include :
• Runny nose and nasal congestion
• Watery or itchy eyes
• Coughing and sneezing
• Itchy nose or throat
• Sinus pressure and facial pain
• Irritability and mood swings
• Sleepless nights
• Decreased sense of smell or taste
Hay Fever Home Remedies
Sometimes, there’s no hiding from the allergens lurking inside your home or traveling through a summer breeze. But, you can surely prepare for symptoms by keeping a few tricks up your sleeve. To stay ahead of your allergies, consider the following home remedies for hay fever:
Deliver a boost to your immune system by consuming garlic, which also works as a decongestant. If you have a choice, select fresh garlic instead of powdered or dried versions.
b) Air Conditioner:
During hot days, it’s wise to keep your air conditioner running to avoid coming in contact with pollen. When traveling in a car, avoid rolling down the windows. During pollen season, make sure to clean the filter of your air conditioner once a month.
Responsible for reducing the overproduction and secretion of histamine, ginger also helps to strengthen your immune system. Histamine is a protein that generates inflammatory responses and causes the constriction of smooth muscles during allergic reactions .
d) Green Tea:
Green tea also blocks the over secretion of histamine. Consume one to two cups a day with added honey. Although less effective, black tea makes a suitable substitute.
Fight congestion with a tea made with thyme to also treat coughs and sinus issues. Add one teaspoon of dried thyme to one cup of boiling water.
f) Don’t Air Dry:
If you have a habit of drying your clothes outside, it’s probably a good idea to use your drier inside, as hay fever sufferers risk coming in contact with pollen that easily sticks to wet clothing.
g) Frequent Hair-Washing:
After spending a long time outside during the day, it’s recommended to wash your hair to avoid inhaling pollen caught in your hair when you lay down for bedtime.
Freeing the nose from congestion and helping to clear up the respiratory tract, peppermint tea also prevents coughing and sinus discomfort associated with hay fever.
i) Beware of Melons:
Who would have thought that eating watermelon, cantaloupe or honeydew could send your hay fever symptoms into a frenzy? Because of an allergic-like reaction known as ‘cross-reactivity,’ if you are allergic to ragweed, you may experience hay fever symptoms when eating melon. The same is true for people allergic to birch tree-pollen with cherries, apples, pears, peaches, carrots and potatoes posing allergy threats. Eating such foods while battling hay fever can produce symptoms, such as itching of the throat, and swollen lips and tongue.
j) Honey and Citrus:
Add honey to boiled, minced pieces of grapefruit and lemon. Drink the concoction three times per day to ease hay fever symptoms.
k) Petroleum Jelly:
When your nose is irritated due to hay fever symptoms, ease discomfort by rubbing a small amount of petroleum jelly inside the nostrils.
Unblock your nasal passages by inhaling the fumes of chamomile boiled in water.
m) Avoid Your Vices:
Smoking cigarettes and drinking alcoholic beverages will worsen your hay fever symptoms.
n) Minty Vaporizer:
At night, sleep with a vaporizer with added mint essential oil.
“You probably don’t think it is, but food preparation plays a role in many illnesses. Washing your fruits and veggies really good can prevent the kind of allergens and contaminants that makes hay fever worse.”