It’s that time of year again when many people start to battle with the symptoms of hayfever.
For a few unlucky sufferers, symptoms can start as early as the end of January, when the first tree pollens start to spread, but if it is tree pollens that cause your symptoms, then by the end of May things should be improving for you. For those whose allergy is to plant pollens or grasses, symptoms generally start around April or May, and start to ease in mid to later summer.
The symptoms are caused when microscopic pollen particles are inhaled through the nose and mouth. The body’s natural defences cause histamine to be released. Histamine creates a local inflammatory response to deal with the pollen, and it is this that causes the familiar symptoms.
The conventional treatment of hay fever is aimed at controlling the histamine reaction with the use of anti-histamines. These can be effective, but there are often side effects. Many people report problems with drowsiness, and even with non-drowsy formulations some people may experience irritability, dry mouth, dizziness and insomnia.
There are a number of alternative remedies for hay fever, many of which are well worth a try. For example, there is anecdotal evidence that eating honey produced in your local area can reduce your susceptibility to the local pollens. The theory behind this is that by taking in minute quantities of pollens as found in honey, sufferers desensitise themselves to the pollens in the air. There are people who swear this has worked for them, so it may be worth a try – a teaspoonful daily – certainly a delicious medicine as home remedies go!!
Similar to this is a form of homeopathic treatment called isopathy. This is when you take a medicine containing a minute dose of the diluted pollens that cause your symptoms, so that your body learns to cope with the substance in minute quantities. This helps your body to cope better when it comes into contact with the pollen in the air. If you know which pollens affect you it is possible to get the specific homeopathic remedy to match, or you can take a remedy called ‘Mixed Pollens’ which contains all of the major culprits. It is worth starting this up to a month or two before your symptoms are due to start, but it can also be taken during your hay fever season to alleiviate symptoms too.
There are many over the counter homeopathic remedies that can help hay fever sufferers such as -
Allium Cepa - burning, watery eyes and nose (like when chopping onions)
Euphrasia -watery, itchy eyes that feel gritty or sandy
Pulsatilla - thick green discharge from the nose, blocked sinuses
Apis - swollen, itchy, watery, stinging eyes
When the symptoms occur, it is worth showering regularly to wash away pollen that has accumulated on the skin and hair, and also drying clothes inside rather than outside can help. Inhaling steam can help to reduce the inflammation in the nose and sinuses, and Euphrasia tincture can be used to bathe itchy, sore eyes.
A professional homeopath can use more specialised remedies to treat your individual susceptibility to hay fever. Individualised remedies can boost your immune system, and help your body to recognise that pollens are not the dangerous invaders that they seem.
Homeopathic treatment can dramatically improve symptoms, and even get rid of them altogether for some people, leaving them to enjoy their summers symptom free! For more information, please get in touch by clicking here.