What is hay fever?
Hay fever is a seasonal allergic rhinitis. It is an allergic response to airborne pollen. Hay fever tends to run in families. It is a very common health condition and affects about 20 percent of Americans.
Hay fever symptoms occur when pollen is in the air. Most hay fever sufferers are allergic to ragweed and grasses. Allergy to trees is less common.
What are the symptoms of hay fever?
The symptoms of hay fever can vary from person to person.
The most common symptoms of allergic rhinitis include:
- runny or stuffy nose
- itching of nose, eyes, ears and soft palate
- watery eyes
- postnasal drip
- decreased sense of smell or taste
How is hay fever diagnosed?
Your doctor will ask detailed questions about your symptoms and also about a family history of eczema, hay fever or asthma. He may also recommend a skin prick test or an allergy blood test.
Tips for reducing pollen exposure
Avoiding pollen is an important part of the treatment:
- Remain indoors during peak pollen periods; the worst times are in the morning and evening. Keep bedroom windows closed during pollen season.
- Use an air conditioner to keep the temperature cool and filter out pollens.
- Shower and wash your hair every day to avoid bringing pollens into your bed.
- After you are exposed to pollens, use a salt-water rinse or nasal spray to cleanse your nose.
- Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes.
Natural treatment for hay fever
Homeopathy is an effective and safe treatment for hay fever. Homeopathic medicines don`t cause the drowsiness and dizziness of antihistamines prescribed in conventional medicine.The lack of side effects makes homeopathy a good choice for children, in pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Many scientific studies have been done over the past 30 years evaluating the effect of homeopathic medicines in allergic conditions. These studies confirm that homeopathy treats hay fever just as well as conventional medicine and certainly better than placebo.
There are two groups of homeopathic medicines for fast relief of hay fever symptoms and deep acting medicines preventing recurrence of allergic rhinitis. For best results, the treatment with a deep acting medicine should start a couple of months before the onset of a seasonal hay fever. Homeopathic medicines for fast relief are used only when your allergy symptoms have already started.
Some of the best quick-relief homeopathic medicines for hay fever include:
- Allium cepa - copius watery nasal discharge, excoriating the nostrils and the upper lip, sneezing, non-irritant watery discharge from the eyes; hacking cough, hoarseness.
- Apis mellifica - stuffy nose due to a pink edema of the nasal mucous membranes, swollen eyelids. Fresh air unblocks the nose. A reliable homeopathic nasal decongestant.
- Arsenicum album - scant and excoriating burning nasal discharge, always worse at night. The symptoms improve by heat. Allergic rhinitis is often associated with asthma and/or eczema.
- Arsenicum iodatum - sneezing and excoriating watery rhinitis, nighttime asthma attacks during peak pollen season. Hay fever symptoms are improved by moderate temperatures.
- Dulcamara - stuffy nose in rainy and foggy weather, followed by postnasal drip; hay fever at the end of August and in the fall. Dry cough and asthma in damp weather.
- Euphrasia - red, itchy and watery eyes, frequent sneezing and runny nose. Symptoms resemble Allium cepa`s hay fever but in an Euphrasia patient it is the eye discharge that is irritating and excoriating and in Allium cepa it is the nasal one. A medicine for allergic conjunctivitis.
- Galphimia - burning discharge from eyes and nose, swollen itchy eyelids, sneezing, skin rash. Its efficacy in allergic rhinitis is proven by many scientific studies. That is why it is a common ingredient in most complex medicines for hay fever.
- Kalium iodatum - very profuse watery discharge from nose and eyes, swollen red eyes and nose; constricting pain at the root of the nose. The copious coryza blocks the sinuses, triggering a frontal headache and allergic sinusitis.
- Nux vomica - bursts of sneezing on awakening, dry and stuffy nose at night with scant discharge during the day. Better in open air.
- Sabadilla - itchy throat and palate, you try to rub the palate with your tongue to relieve itching; runny nose and watery eyes. Fragrant flowers often trigger allergy symptoms.