Hay Fever Cure
by Contributing Writer
Hay fever, also known as allergic rhinitis, is a common allergic reaction that occurs in response to specific triggers. When these triggers are inhaled, symptoms such as sneezing, itchy and watery eyes, itchy nose and throat, and/or coughing will appear. Depending on the severity of your allergy, hay fever symptoms can be seasonal and last only a couple of months, whereas for others it can last much longer. Although there is no one cure for hay fever, there are many preventative things you can do to help decrease your symptoms.
Some of the most common triggers that may be affecting your hay fever include pet dander, pollens, dust mites and molds. There are many varieties of pollens and molds, so it is imperative to identify precisely which ones are affecting you in order to properly treat your hay fever. You can start by keeping a log or diary as to when and where symptoms seem to become aggravated. For better accuracy, visit an allergist to get tested. A simple skin prick test on your arm or back will let you and your allergist know which triggers are affecting you as well as the severity of your reactions.
Although completely avoiding outdoor allergens is impossible, it is possible to limit your exposure. If pollens and molds contribute to your hay fever symptoms, be sure to check online forecasts daily. When counts are high, try to schedule activities for indoors and limit your time outside. If outside chores such as gardening, lawn mowing or leaf raking are necessary, wear a protective mask that can filter out any allergens.
Eliminating allergens in the home is another simple way to help get rid of your hay fever symptoms. In high pollen or mold seasons, keep your windows closed with the air conditioner on so as not to let in any allergens. Should any enter your home, be sure to use HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filters on your vacuum, air purifier and air conditioner. This powerful filter is capable of removing any micro-sized allergens. In severe cases, you may want to consider replacing any carpet with flooring. Even with thorough vacuuming, allergens can build up in carpets. For hay fever reactions related to dust mites, cover your mattress and pillows with special encasings that will keep a barrier between you and the mites.
Medication is often needed to help control your hay fever symptoms. Antihistamines and decongestants are two of the most widely used types of fast-acting treatments. Antihistamines are used to combat histamine, which is a chemical that is released in your body during a hay fever reaction. When taken orally, antihistamines are capable at decreasing inflammation in the body, which can reduce symptoms. Decongestants are used to combat congestion which occurs due to increased inflammation when hay fever is present. Nasal sprays are typically used to help relieve this. Depending on your symptoms, these medications are available over-the-counter or by prescription. They should be taken at the first sign of any symptom as they can take up to 30 minutes before any relief is felt. Speak to your doctor before beginning any regiment of medication.
Immuntherapy is a very effective solution for hay fever symptoms. If you suffer from allergies for several months of the year or you find that medications are not working, then you may be a good candidate for this type of treatment. Immunotherapy is a series of shots that are administered by an allergist. Each shot contains small doses of your specific allergens. Over time, this dose is increased while your body builds immunity. Although this desensitization process is capable of completely eliminating your allergy symptoms, it does come with a big time commitment. Weekly visits to your allergist can take years before any change is felt. Talk to your allergist to find out if immunotherapy is right for you.