What is hay fever? And how do I treat it at home?

Read about a number of hay fever symptoms and causes that include grass pollen. Learn how to alleviate symptoms with a number of hay fever treatment remedies.

Updated

When hay fever strikes the inevitable puffy eyes, scratchy throat and sneezes can be extremely irritating and can have a big impact on your day-to-day life. Fortunately, hay fever symptoms only strike at certain times of the year, and if you know what to do, you can reduce their impact. But how do you do that? Read on to find out what causes hay fever, what the symptoms are and a number of natural hay fever treatment tips to help you fight back.

Knowing how to combat hay fever symptoms like watery eyes, a scratchy throat and a stuffy nose can be easy when you’ve got a plan. As long as you’re organised and have a handful of home remedies up your sleeve you can get through hay fever season without too much discomfort.

1) The main hay fever causes

Hay fever allergy is a common condition that affects upto one in five people in their lifetime. It is caused due to pollens released from plants. These enter your body and come into contact with the nose, mouth, eyes and throat; triggering your immune system; your immune system responds and this leads to inflammation and irritation.

There are a number of different causes and triggers for hay fever. These include

  • Grass pollen: often most prevalent in late spring and summer.
  • Tree pollen: tends to affect hay fever allergy sufferers in spring.
  • Fungi and mould spores: most common in warm weather.
  • Weed pollen: tends to trigger hay fever symptoms in autumn.

2) Hay fever symptoms

There are a number of common hay fever symptoms that flare up at different times and with different levels of severity. Whether it’s caused by grass pollen, tree pollen or any of the other triggers, the higher the pollen count rises the more severe those symptoms might become. They include:

  • Itchy throat.
  • Sneezing.
  • Watering eyes.
  • Congestion in the sinuses and ears.
  • Bloodshot eyes.
  • Trouble sleeping.

3) Hay fever treatment

So, we’ve established the causes and symptoms, but what about hay fever treatment? When the itchiness and irritation strikes there is plenty that you can do to alleviate some of the discomfort. Whilst over the counter anti histamines, nasal sprays and eye drops can certainly help, so can natural remedies. When the sniffles and itches take hold try these hay fever treatment tips:

  • Wear wraparound sunglasses to shield your eyes.
  • Gargle with warm salty water to soothe your throat.
  • Shower after you’ve been outside to wash off pollen.
  • Wash your clothes with quality detergents such as Rin and Sunlight.
  • Clean vents and AC units to filter air.
  • Keep windows closed.
  • Use dehumidifiers to prevent mould.
  • Avoid grassy and wooded areas when you can.

Overcoming hay fever allergy symptoms requires a little patience, some practical steps and a plan. As long as you’re aware of the pollen count and do what you can to alleviate those symptoms, hay fever can pass with less irritation. For the most part hay fever symptoms will subside without medical attention, but you should contact your doctor if they are getting worse or don’t show signs of improvement after taking medicines.

Key Steps

Follow these key steps to help prevent and treat hay fever symptoms:

  • Check the pollen count and forecast
  • Avoid areas where pollen triggers are high
  • Wash clothes and yourself after being outdoors
  • Close windows and filter air inside
  • Shield your eyes with sunglasses
  • Seek medical advice if symptoms aren’t subsiding and/or becoming more severe

Originally published