Hayfever and spring allergies
Allergic rhinitis (hayfever) is an inflammatory disorder which occurs seasonally or perennially due to exposure to certain allergens with most cases occurring typically during spring. It is the hypersensitivity of the immune system to allergens such as pollens which results in excessive release of histamine, causing symptoms such as a runny and itchy nose, sneezing, red and itchy eyes, fatigue and stuffy nose.
Management and Treatment of hayfever:
- The first approach should be to avoid the allergens that trigger symptoms.
- Outdoor exposure
- Stay indoors as much as possible when pollen counts are at their peak, usually during the midmorning and early evening.
- Wear glasses or sunglasses when outdoors to minimize the amount of pollen getting into your eyes.
- Don’t dry your clothes outside; pollen may cling to towels and sheets.
- Don’t rub your eyes, it will irritate them and could make your symptoms worse.
- Indoor exposure
- Keep windows closed at peak times.
- Reduce exposure to dust mites by washing your bedding frequently using hot water.
- To limit exposure to mold, keep the humidity in your home low by using a dehumidifier.
- Clean floors with a damp rag or mop, rather than dry-dusting or sweeping.
- Wash your hands immediately after petting any animals; wash your clothes after visiting friends with pets.
- If possible, replace carpeting with hardwood, tile or linoleum, all of which are easier to keep dander-free.
Antihistamines are commonly used to treat allergic rhinitis. These medicines counter the effects of histamine, the chemical released within your body when an allergic reaction occurs. Because the antihistamines are used for extended periods, they can have numerous unwanted side effects. There are a number of natural, safe and effective remedies that many people may benefit from. These formulations contain vitamins, minerals and herbal products which have been clinically trialed to relieve symptoms such as sneezing, nasal congestion, watery and itchy eyes and runny and itchy nose.