Hay Fever and How to Alleviate the Symptoms
Are you sneezing more often? Do you have a tickle in your throat? Or, are your eyes itchy? If you’ve tested negative for COVID-19, more likely than not you probably have hay fever. So, how do you get rid of it? In today’s blog, we define this allergy and why we react so strongly to pollen. Plus, some tips on how to alleviate the symptoms.
What is Hay Fever?
Also known as allergic rhinitis, hay fever occurs when the immune system overreacts to allergens in the air. Signs and symptoms include:
- a runny or stuffy nose
- red, itchy, and watery eyes
- itchy throat or roof of mouth
- sinus pressure and pain
- itchy skin
These usually appear within minutes following exposure, and affect sleep and the ability ro work or study. Some people only experience systems during specific pollen-heavy times of the year. Otherwise, the allergy is linked to asthma, conjunctivitis, or atopic dermatitis. In Western countries between 10-30% of people suffer from this allergy. Commonly, they are between the ages of 20 and 40. The link with “hay” came about due to an early theory that the stems were due to the smell of new hay. This notion is incorrect.
Pollen and Other Factors
Hay fever is triggered by environmental allergens such as pollen, pet hair, dust, or mould. Culprits of causing allergies include:
- Trees: pine, mulberry, birch, alder, cedar, hazel, horse chestnut, willow, and olive.
- Grasses: especially regress and timothy.
- Weeds: ragweed, plantain, nettle, mugwort, fat hen, and sorrel.
Tip: Allergy-free tress include ash (female only), red maple, yellow poplar, dogwood, magnolia, double-flowered cherry, fir, spruce, and flowering plum.
As a result of climate change, pollen season is lasting longer. Thus, resulting in hay fever lasting longer periods of time. What’s more, scientists day that a rise in allergies owes itself to city landscapers opting to plant male instead of female trees.
A Matter of Trees
Trees can be one of three sexes. Additionally, they can bear both male and female flowers on a singe tree. Pollen produced by male flower is a major culprit behind hay fewer. Usually there is a balance between the three sexes with female trees capturing the pollen released by the male spores. However, that balance no longer exists.
So, why are male trees planted instead? Well, they don’t produce fruits, seeds or pods like female trees do. Thus, in cities, keeping streets cleaner and preventing its citizens from reaping the benefits of free food.
How to Alleviate Symptoms
While hay fever shouldn’t cause any long term harm, it is not pleasant to deal with. But, have no fear for we have some tips for making the pollen season more bearable.
- Use a Weather App which tells you what pollen count is as well as the wind speed.
- Keep windows closed to prevent pollen coming in.
- Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes outside.
- Use a dehumidifier to control mold, dust, and pollen.
- Incorporate foods such as vitamin C and fish oil into your diet. Honey is also thought to help lessen hay fever symptoms.