Symptoms include itchy, red eyes; watery discharge from the nose and eyes, sneezing, fatigue and irritability. Many of the symptoms are similar to that of a cold without the fever. It can seriously disturb daily life.
Why are some people more likely to get hay fever?
The symptoms of hay fever occur as the body’s immune system over reacts and releases chemicals that cause inflammation. One of these chemicals - histamine - causes the immediate sneezing, itching and runny nose.
The first step in the natural approach to hay fever is to reduce exposure
- Monitor pollen counts and stay in doors with the windows closed when at their highest usually warm dry days
- Shower after being out to remove pollen from face and hair and change your clothes
- If you want to spend time outdoors go to the coast, pollen tends to be blown inland by sea breezes
- Keep car windows closed and have an effective pollen filter air conditioner
- Avoid drying washing outdoors when pollen counts are high
- Keep pets away from your face as fur can carry pollen, wipe their fur with a damp cloth to remove pollen
- Find someone else to mow the lawn and keep the grass short so there are no flowers
- Wear wrap-around sun glasses when outdoors
- Use hypoallergenic make up
Nutrition and Hay Fever
The food you choose to eat can help reduce the level of inflammation and histamine released
- Support the body’s immune system with a diet rich in apples, berries, citrus fruits, pineapple, onions, garlic, carrots, sweet potato and spinach.
- Get plenty essential fatty acids from oily fish (salmon, mackerel, herring, trout), avocados, mixed nuts and seeds, cold pressed olive oil and coconut oil.
- Drink green and liquorice tea and lots of water
- Add spices like turmeric and ginger to cooking as these are anti inflammatory
- Reduce animal products, food additives, processed and sugary foods.
- Cold chamomile tea on cotton pads can help sore eyes
The immune system's over reaction may be exacerbated by a food allergy or intolerance. This can be tested for or an elimination diet and gut support may help.
Additional nutrients may be required depending on your personal health, symptoms, diet and lifestyle
Medication works by reducing symptoms but not everyone's immune system over reacts for the same reason. Nutritional therapy can help.