A lot of the time you’ll find out you have hay fever as a child. You may have a parent or other family member who has it and knows what it looks like, so they tell you. But, what does hay fever really mean? Let’s read the post below written by our naturopath near Bendigo and Ballarat.

Hay fever, also known as seasonal allergic rhinitis, is an allergic reaction. Your nasal passages and airways react when exposed to windborne pollens. It ends up with you having swollen, irritated eyes, and nasal airways.

When Do Hay Fever Symptoms Occur

The symptoms occur when your body is exposed to an allergen, such as pollen or dust. When you inhale it, because you have a sensitive immune system, it causes your body to produce immunoglobulin E. This is the allergic antibody. Once released it binds to some of your white blood cells. Specifically, your basophils and mast cells. These cells then release histamine and other things that trigger an allergic reaction.

This results in the following:

  • A watery nasal discharge, sneezing, itchy eyes and nose

The severity of symptoms can vary between individuals. With some people only experiencing itchy eyes while others can end up with hives, rashes, and sinus infections on top of typical hay fever symptoms.

Allergy Testing For Hayfever

You may want to consider doing specific allergy testing. This can help you to determine what specific allergens you react to. When you know this, it can help you avoid the things that will cause your symptoms to flare up. A lot of people with hay fever are allergic to pollen from grasses and trees such as ragweed, birches, wattle blossom, and conifers.

You could be allergic to all of them, only some, or none. These aren’t the only things you might be allergic to. You may also be allergic to foods, moulds, and dust. Some people find that they are more sensitive to other irritants during the spring too. They can develop sensitivities to other things because their immune system is so primed to react. This can make them react to allergens that they can handle well during other times of the year.

Therapeutic Considerations

There are a wide variety of things that you can do to help manage your allergies, especially if you know exactly what allergens trigger you. Some things to consider include:

  • Staying inside when pollen counts are highest.
  • Consider changing clothes when you come inside to help limit the spread of pollen through your house, if practical.
  • Showering before bed to remove pollen from your face and hair, this will also help keep your bed pollen free.
  • Remove animals from the house, if possible, as well as any surfaces that may collect pollen such as rugs.
  • Check your house for high moisture areas – black mould can make you more sensitive.
  • Support your intestinal integrity and microbiome diversity; this can help to reduce your exposure to allergens.
  • Quercetin has anti-allergen activity, talk to your naturopath to help determine if it would be an appropriate supplement for you.

You may also consider booking a consultation with a naturopath near Bendigo and Ballarat for more personalised therapeutic conditions. Want to read more articles about other health issues? Check them here.

Ruth Griffiths

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