When we think of spring we usually think about all of the fun things we can do that we have been missing all winter long. Picnics and BBQ’s are among some of the things we do during the spring. Unfortunately, not all of us relish this time of year because it also brings with it the dreaded symptoms of hay fever that we haven’t been missing in the slightest. Hay fever is more common than many people believe and it certainly can put a damper on good times rather quickly. The good news is; there are things which can be done to help alleviate the symptoms of hay fever.
Over the Counter Allergy Preventatives
There are pills which can be taken daily, prior to the occurrence of hay fever symptoms. The most common are Zyrtec and Claritin, both of which were only previously available by prescription. Most people find these to be highly effective in preventing the onset of a hay fever “attack”. However, they do not always work well in people who suffer from more severe cases of hay fever. In some cases it may become necessary to consult a physician to obtain prescription strength drugs.
Honey and Herbal Teas
Because hay fever is in actuality an allergy to pollen, it often helps to take in a teaspoon of honey each day. Honey contains pollen and many doctors believe it will assist a person, who suffers from an allergy to pollen, build up a slight resistance to it. Honey can be eaten right off the spoon or mixed into an herbal tea for maximum absorption. In fact there are many herbs which are known to relieve many of the symptoms of hay fever. Chamomile is thought to reduce the duration of a hay fever attack, while St. John’s Wort has properties which help get rid of a sinus headache. In addition, Ephedra will help to open the bronchial passages and make breathing easier.
* Use caution with the herbal remedy Ephedra if you have high blood pressure or a heart condition.
Increase Onion Consumption
While this might sound a bit crazy, onions can help control the symptoms of hay fever. Researchers in Holland have uncovered a link between an ingredient in onions called quercetin and hay fever relief. There are other vegetables such as broccoli and kale which also contain quercetin but onions have at least 10 times more. Quercetin is believed to have anti-inflammatory and antihistamine properties. For this reason eating a little bit of raw onion may be a very good defense for people who suffer from any kind of allergies.
Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) is quite effective in treating the symptoms of any allergic reaction, including that of people who suffer from hay fever. The only downside of taking this medication is that it tends to make people moderately drowsy to severely tired, depending on the individual. For this reason it is not recommended to take Benadryl before driving or operating heavy machinery. In addition, taking Benadryl can lessen your overall enjoyment during outside activities by making you too tired to participate. With this being said, it is still one of the most effective treatments for any and all allergic reactions.
Because hay fever causes itchy, watery eyes, that usually become swollen and irritated, it is suggested to use some form of eye drops which are specifically formulated with antihistamines for allergy symptoms. There are a variety of over the counter eye drops that state use for indications of allergies on the label. Remember not to rub the eyes during symptoms as it can make things much worse than they already are. Allow the eye drops a little time to work.
OTC (Over the Counter) pain relievers such as Tylenol, Aleve or Ibuprofen can help alleviate any pain which may be associated with swelling of the throat or sinus headaches. While these pain relievers will not treat things like sneezing, coughing or watery, itchy eyes, they are a great aid in making the allergy sufferer a little bit more comfortable while the allergy medicines kick in. Hay fever can cause your throat to become raw and pain relievers will help with that.
Cool Compress and Ice Packs
Many times during an episode of hay fever, it helps to lie back and place a cool moist towel over your eyes. This will relieve the burning and itching sensation caused by the allergy. Ice packs are also very good for comforting angry, burning eyes. One of the most annoying symptoms of hay fever is the eye discomfort it causes. Placing something cold and soothing over the eyes is a very good method of combating these symptoms while the medication is allowed time to take effect.
While hay fever is an annoyance, modern medicine has implemented a lot of methods to help make people with this disorder a little bit more comfortable. There was a time when hay fever sufferers would have had to remain indoors all season long in order to avoid having an attack. Fortunately, that is not the case today and hay fever is much more manageable.