For many people, the onset of spring indicates the start of the dreaded hay fever season, which brings with it various symptoms like frequent sneezing, an itchy throat, and watery eyes. While over-the-counter medications may help reduce the symptoms, these drugs can come with nasty side effects. However, there are some other methods you can employ for more natural relief. That is why natural remedies for hay fever may be the best solution for you.
You will learn the following from this post:
- Meaning of hay fever
- Symptoms of hay fever
- What causes hay fever?
- Types of hay fever
- Risks associated with hay fever
- Treatments for hay fever
- Natural remedies for hay fever
What is Hay Fever or Allergic Rhinitis?
Hay fever is a medical condition and an allergic reaction to specific allergens. Hay fever is also called allergic rhinitis. In seasonal hay fever, pollen is the most common allergen. These are allergic symptoms that come with the change of the seasons.
About 8 percent of adults in the United States experience hay fever, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI). Between 10 and 30 percent of the entire human population of the world may also experience hay fever.
Symptoms of Hay Fever
The following are the symptoms of hay fever:
- excessive fatigue
- a runny nose
- eczema-type symptoms, for instance – having extremely itchy, dry skin that can blister
- a stuffy nose
- frequent headaches
- an itchy nose
- dark circles under the eyes
- watery eyes
- a scratchy or sore throat
- itchy eyes
Most times, you will feel one or more of these symptoms as soon as you come in contact with an allergen. However, some symptoms such as fatigue and recurrent headaches may only happen after extended exposure to the allergen. Therefore, it is wrong to think that fever is a significant symptom of hay fever; as a matter of fact, it’s not a symptom at all.
Some people’s symptoms only occur rarely. This likely happens when you are exposed to the allergen in large quantities. Other people experience symptoms all through the year. If your symptoms go a few weeks and do not seem to be improving, it will be okay to talk to your doctor about it.
What Causes Hay Fever?
When you expose your body to an allergen, it releases histamine, a natural chemical that protects your body against allergens. This chemical that your body releases can result in hay fever and its symptoms, such as itchy eyes, sneezing, and runny nose.
Besides tree pollen, other common allergens include the following:
- grass pollen
- cat saliva
- dust mites
- animal dander
At some specific times of the year, pollen can cause a lot of problems. Flower and tree pollens are more common in the spring. Weeds and grasses produce more pollen in the fall and summer.
What are the Types of Hay Fever?
The two types of hay fever are seasonal and perennial. Seasonal allergies from hay fever usually occur in the fall and spring seasons, and they are often in response to outdoor allergens like pollen. Perennial allergies from hay fever can occur throughout the year or at any time in the year in response to indoor allergens like pet dander and dust mites.
Risk Factors for Hay Fever
You are more likely to develop hay fever if you have a history of allergies in your family. Having atopic eczema or asthma can also increase your risk of developing hay fever.
Some external factors that can trigger or worsen this condition include:
- cigarette smoke
- wood smoke
- cold temperature
- air pollution
Treatments for Hay Fever
There are several ways you can treat your hay fever. These ways include medications, including natural remedies for hay fever, and most likely alternative medicines too. It would help if you talked to your allergist before trying any new treatment measure for hay fever.
You can use antihistamines to treat your allergies. Antihistamines prevent your body from producing histamines. Some popular antihistamines are the following:
- cetirizine (Zyrtec)
- fexofenadine (Allegra)
- levocetirizine (Xyzal)
- loratadine (Claritin)
- diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
- desloratadine (Clarinex)
You can make use of decongestants for over a short period; usually, not more than three days, to relieve sinus pressure or stuffy nose. Using decongestants for a long time can result in a rebound effect. This means that your symptoms will worsen if you stop using the decongestants. Popular over-the-counter decongestants include the following:
- cetirizine with pseudoephedrine (Zyrtec-D)
- oxymetazoline (Afrin nasal spray)
- phenylephrine (Sudafed PE)
- pseudoephedrine (Sudafed)
Suppose you have bladder issues, high blood pressure, a sleep disorder, anxiety, a history of stroke, heart disease, or an abnormal heart rhythm. In that case, you should speak with your doctor before using decongestants.
Eye Drops and Nasal Sprays
Nasal sprays and eye drops can help in relieving itchiness and other symptoms that are allergy-related. However, you may need to avoid any long-term use of these remedies. Like decongestants, using certain eye drops and nose drops for a long time can result in a rebound effect.
Corticosteroids can help with improving the immune response and reducing inflammation. However, corticosteroids do not cause a rebound effect. Steroid nasal sprays are available for long-term use. They are available by prescription or over-the-counter.
Your doctor may recommend that you consider immunotherapy or allergy shots, especially if your allergy is severe. You can make use of this treatment with medications to control your symptoms faster. In addition, these allergy shots decrease your immune response to particular allergens over time.
An allergy shot regimen starts with a buildup phase. During this phase, you will visit your allergist for a shot one to three times every week for about three or six months so that your body can get used to the allergen in the shot.
During the maintenance phase, you will most likely need to consult your allergist for shots every two to four weeks for up to three to five years. You may not notice a change until after more than a year after the maintenance phase begins. As soon as you reach this stage, it is most likely your allergy symptoms will disappear or fade altogether.
10 Natural Remedies for Hay Fever
The remedies below are easy to remember, and they can help you battle the symptoms of hay fever. The following natural remedies for hay fever are the key to a more comfortable, sneeze, and itch-free life:
- Drink More Water
- Reishi Mushrooms
- House Plants
- Coconut Oil
- Citrus Fruit
Drink More Water
It is normal to spend more time outside on the hotter days, so drinking water will keep you hydrated and serve as an antidote for hay fever symptoms. The more water you drink, the more your body produces the histamines that cause allergies (this is why anti-allergy medicines are called antihistamines). By staying hydrated, you will thin the mucus in your nasal passages and slow the production line of histamines and the subsequent symptoms of hay fever.
This fungus is pretty edible, and it is a superfood that promotes health and longevity. Thanks to its incredible benefits, Reishi Mushrooms have been the herbal choice in China for thousands of years. The Reishi Mushrooms help improve the immune system, lessen fatigue, enhance sleep, and reduce stress; they are also the number one natural supplement for controlling hay fever. As a result, many doctors have prescribed Reishi Mushrooms to patients that suffer from hay fever symptoms.
Turmeric is a spice, and you can find it in most curries. It is popular in India because of its medicinal properties. Turmeric contains various compounds that have tremendous benefits on the body. One of the essential turmeric compounds is curcumin, a powerful natural antihistamine, and anti-inflammatory. In addition, it can reduce the chance of brain and heart diseases, and it has been proved to boost the body’s level of serotonin and dopamine. You can ingest turmeric into the body in various ways. Still, the favorite way is with vegan golden milk, which contains ginger that serves as a natural remedy for hay fever. Although dairy milk builds mucus in the body and increases the likelihood of hay fever, the oat milk used in vegan golden milk has the opposite effect.
Looking beautiful is not their only benefit; house plants can also help solve your hay fever miseries. A lot of house plants contain detoxifying properties, leading to a cleaner indoor space. However, some of these house plants can collect pollen and various other toxins from the air. So, no matter the space you have in your house, always try to create room for spider plants, aloe vera, and peace lilies. All these house plants can help improve the air quality and are also adept at tackling pollutants.
Even though we are aware of the beautiful properties coconut oil has in cooking, as a natural hair conditioner, and the deep nourishment of the skin, it can also serve as a barrier to the pollen particles linked to hay fever. If you apply a small amount of fresh coconut oil under your nostrils, it will trap the pollen before you breathe it in because once the particles are in the nose, they are often hard to eliminate.
Besides that, coconut oil also nourishes the surrounding of the nose that often gets sore from constant rubbing with a tissue – so it’s a win-win trick. Also, since coconut oil’s melting point is low, you can carry it with you everywhere and not worry about its melting possibility. Coconut oil is one of the most essential natural remedies for hay fever.
Besides the fact that they taste fantastic, fruits like grapefruits, lemons, and oranges are high in vitamin C, which serves as a natural antihistamine. In addition, citrus fruits are excellent decongestants, and they contain things like bioflavonoids, which possess highly potent anti-allergy effects. The best way to get lemon into your system is by making it into a yogic tea, with the added benefits of ginger and the sweetness of the agave syrup. Of course, you can always take the tea in the morning.
Almost everyone knows the wonderful health benefits of ginger. Ginger is a powerful spice that has been a crucial diet component in China, India, and Southeast Asia for hundreds of years. It contains incredible medicinal properties. Ginger is perfect for tea when you are suffering from a cold because it promotes perspiration. Ginger has even helped improve mobility and reduce the pain of those who have arthritis. Since it may not be easy to make ginger tea on the go, you can chew on small pieces of ginger roots sprinkled with salt the entire day. This process will help prevent headaches, coughs, and a runny nose.
Besides its antihistamine properties, garlic also contains several health benefits. Garlic is beneficial in producing good cholesterol, reducing blood pressure, and the allicin components can help correct sinus infections. The allicin in it will come out; this allicin is an incredible decongestant because of its strong aroma. The primary benefit of garlic in battling hay fever is how it attacks the allergens and completely removes them from the bloodstream. Garlic is one of the best superfoods around.
Nettle has proved that it’s an excellent remedy for many centuries as many use it for its healing purposes. It would be best if you didn’t get stung, so I recommend you buy pre-paid nettle products. The Arthritis Foundation revealed that nettle tea reduces inflammation linked to osteoarthritis. A study in 2013 showed that nettle reduced the blood sugars in people living with type-2 diabetes. Nettle is a natural reducer of histamine whenever it comes to hay fever. Therefore, using a nettle tincture or drinking nettle tea reduces many symptoms without having to rub its stingy leaves on your body.
When you have a congested sinus or your nose is blocked, a cup of peppermint will offer you great relief. When you diffuse peppermint oil, you can use it to reduce inflammation too. In addition, you can create an effective soothing allergy relief by combining peppermint oil with lemon and lavender oils. However, it would help if you understood that the more oil combination you make, the higher your risk of developing an allergic reaction.
With the natural remedies for hay fever given above, you should have significant relief from allergic rhinitis. However, precaution works a lot better than cure or treatment. Therefore, always stay indoors when pollen counts are high and avoid exercising outdoor early in the morning. Whenever you have been outside for a long time, always take a shower. During allergy seasons, always endeavor to keep your doors and windows shut. When you perform yard work, always keep your mouth and nose covered. Stay healthy and safe.
The information contained in this post is for educational purposes only. Always consult your primary care doctor before using the remedies that are provided. The information is provided by The Hidden Cures and while we do timely, in-depth research on the information that we provide to you, everything stated may not be up to date or accurate from the time it was written.