Summertime Allergies: The What & Why, and How to Find Relief

When summertime rolls round everyone gets excited for sunshine and blue skies. Everyone except maybe those who suffer from summertime allergies. You may go all year without suffering from the symptoms of the most common summertime allergy - allergic rhinitis otherwise known as hay fever, but as soon Spring/Summer kicks off you’re suffering from a runny nose and watery eyes.

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What is Hay Fever?

Hay fever is caused by airborne substances called pollen. Pollen is produced at a high level in Spring and Summer due to the weather changing, and the abundance of flowers and trees that are blossoming.

When you breathe in the pollen in the atmosphere, your body can often mistake the substances, that aren’t harmful, for a substance that is going to do you harm. Your body will kick into overdrive to fight these substances, releasing all sorts of chemicals to fight the non harmful substances. This fight your body is partaking in is what causes your symptoms!

What exactly are these symptoms?

Hay fever, like most things, can have mild symptoms in some and much more severe symptoms in others. Things to look out for:

Mild Symptoms

  • Sneezing

  • Eyes Watering

  • Nasal Congestion

  • Runny Nose

  • Tickly Throat

 Photo by  paul morris  on  Unsplash

Photo by paul morris on Unsplash

Severe Symptoms

  • Blocked Sinuses

  • Headache

  • Sweats

  • Loss of appetite- smell or taste

  • Itchy Throat, Nose and/or Ears

Those with asthma may notice wheezing or breathlessness.

Treatment

Treating summer allergies like hay fever can be tricky. You can decide to go the natural route or choose medication. So, which to go for? We’ve got some insights that can help you decide, depending how severe your allergies are.

Natural Remedies

  • Bee Pollen

Otherwise known as honey, bee pollen is a great natural remedy to hay fever. While it might seem strange to cure an allergic reaction to pollen with pollen, honey contains a lot of antioxidants. It is said if you begin to take a spoonful of honey 3 months before summer, you will build up a tolerance, much like how a vaccine works.

  • Peppermint

If your nose is blocked, peppermint tea will be your saviour. Peppermint is a natural decongestant.

  • Chamomile

More tea! Chamomile is known for its antihistamine properties. If you are suffering from watery or itchy eyes, give chamomile tea bags a soak in water, leave them to cook in the fridge, and apply to the eye for 5 minutes max per eye.

 Photo by  Aaron Burden  on  Unsplash

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Medicated Remedies

  • Antihistamines

These come in spray or tablet form and are widely available in pharmacies. They stop the release of histamine, which usually causes the reactions in your body like sneezing, runny nose, and watery eyes.

  • Eye Drops

Again, eye drops are widely available over the counter. Use eye drops to relieve itchiness and swelling.

  • Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy for hay fever is the process of receiving a dosage of pollen via injection or tablet from a doctor. Overtime, the process will relieve symptoms of allergies and hay fever.