Spring is just around the corner, and you know what that means: hay fever is too. If you’re one of the unlucky ones, it can seem like there is no relief in sight. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), one in five Australians will suffer from hay fever. That’s more than four million people nationwide.
But never fear, there are some things you can do to alleviate those symptoms and the team at Pialba Place’s Wizard Pharmacy can assist you with all your allergy product needs.
Understand the why factor
First, understanding why you’re suffering from the sneezes, itchy eyes and runny nose will help you combat the symptoms before they even appear. You may not be able to fully avoid hay fever, but there are some preventative things you should be aware of.
Hay fever is generally caused by pollen in the air, which is why spring and summer are the hardest seasons to deal with. The pollens trigger an allergic response from your body, causing an acute inflammation of the nasal passages. Once you understand what your triggers are and what your symptoms will be, you can more easily deal with everything.
Combating the symptoms
There are a range of things you can use to combat the symptoms, from natural remedies, to food, to medication.
According to the AIHW, if you suffer from persistent hay fever, nasal spray should be your first port of call (before you start to take antihistamines). The spray goes straight to the source of the congestion – the nasal passages – reducing the inflammation in the blood vessels.
If you simply get mild intermittent hay fever, the antihistamines may be a better option. Opt for the non-drowsy options and always follow the instructions on the label. While they don’t relieve congestion, antihistamines will help with the runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing and the itchy nose and throat.
Something many people don’t know is that kiwifruit actually contains more vitamin C than oranges, which is a natural antihistamine and anti-inflammatory. Kiwifruit also contains antioxidants that help the body process the vitamin C.
Horseradish and garlic
Combining the two herbs helps ease congestion and the pharmacy stocks these in easy to take tablets. In fact, horseradish is traditionally known as a decongestant, providing relief for a blocked nose. Garlic has anti-inflammatory properties so it helps open the nasal passage.
The spice contains curcumin which provides antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions. It also has been found to have anti-allergy properties. It’s commonly used in Middle Eastern and Asian cuisines so get cooking (or order in). You can buy it in powder and vitamin forms or, if you prefer the fresh variety, peel a section of the turmeric, grate it and then add it to rice, stir fries or soups.
Known to be useful in maintaining the health of mucous membranes, Vitamin A will be your new best friend when it comes to hay fever.
Paw paw ointment or Vaseline are wonderful nasal barriers, trapping the pollen before it gets into the nose. Simply smear some around the entrance to your nose to help prevent the allergic response from occurring.
While it has never been scientifically proven, honey is believed to act as a natural immunotherapy. It essentially gives your system a dose of the allergen, teaching your body to get used to it, in the hopes that you will be able to fight it before it even reaches your nose or eyes.
Use your phone
Modern day miracles mean there are loads of apps available that help you plan your day around your hay fever. If you know the pollen count, you can then decide whether you’re going to actually leave your house and risk the symptoms, and if so, what times to avoid.
Here’s a hint: the hours between seven and nine in the morning and four and six in the afternoon are the worst for pollen production.
An onion a day keeps the hay fever away. Packed with quercetin, an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antihistamine, onions are about to become your favourite food. Pop them in cooked dishes, add red onions to salads or simply eat them raw.
Shut the windows
Well this may seem obvious, but, it’s amazing what shutting the windows and doors can do to your symptoms, especially during those horrible pollen production hours. There’s nothing worse than a fresh draft aggravating your symptoms by depositing pollen right into your home.
This one won’t help alleviate the symptoms, but it will help them from getting worse. Dairy products are known to increase the production of mucus in the respiratory tract, making hay fever congestion much worse. If you really can’t say no to milk, try alternatives such as almond or coconut varieties.
Taking a probiotic will help boost your intestinal tract, ensuring there is a balance of good bacteria in your gut. When it comes to hay fever, probiotics will help to restore a balanced immune response to the pollen.
06 / 09 / 2017