Hayfever is an inflammatory condition in allergic response to pollen.It affects the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, throat, palate and sinuses. Symptoms may include: itching of the eyes, nose, palate and throat and either a blocked or runny nose accompanied sometimes by watery eyes. Wheezing or breathlessness can also be experienced.
If you have ever suffered from Hayfever you also know that it can make you feel wiped out and miserable! 🙁
Hayfever is seasonal and occurs in Spring (mostly tree pollens) and Summer (mostly grass pollens). Pollen can be blown by wind over long distances and strangely it is not uncommon for sufferers to be worse in large cities. This is because the inflammatory response can be made worse by dust, animals and other atmospheric pollutants (such as exhaust fumes). It is often more correctly referred to as Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis.
So Why do the Symptoms of Hayfever occur?
Often there is an inherited predisposition to suffer from allergic rhinitis and stress can certainly make it worse. It is essentially an overreaction of the body natural defense mechanism. The inflammation of the mucous membranes is caused by two main things (here is the technical part):
- The plant pollen is recognized by the body as a foreign particle and so the immune systems responds like it would to an invading virus and produces antibodies.
- The protein immunoglobulin (or IgE) and the pollen come into contact with the surface of special cells called Mast cells. These are then triggered to burst and release histamine and other chemicals into the surrounding tissues, producing the inflammatory response.
Can you avoid pollen?
Here are some ways you can reduce your pollen exposure if you are a sufferer:
- Keep bedroom windows shut in Spring and Summer
- Keep car windows shut and if your car has the option re-circulate the internal car air for short country journeys
- Avoid being outside in the early evening as the damp air causes pollen to fall to ground level where you are!
- Wear sunglasses to keep some pollen out of your eyes
General Self-Help Measures you can use:
- Blow your nose gently rather than hard to avoid bursting any pollen grains in your nose causing further irritation
- Bathe itchy eyes in a solution of Euphrasia tincture. Put a drop in an eyebath of cool boiled water and bathe the eyes
- Avoid cigarette smoke
- Take Vitamin C and Zinc to support the immune system while it is working hard
- Examine ways you can reduce your stress levels such as meditation, exercise and yoga breathing techniques
So what homeopathic medicines can help you?
Homeopaths treat hayfever sufferers in two ways. They can prescribe a medicine to deal with the acute symptoms; and they can also treat the individual in a constitutional way before the hayfever season starts to prevent the hayfever response. In addition they can give the homeopathic medicine prepared from the pollen that causes the allergic rhinitis response, and effectively de-sensitize the individual. This is called Isopathy.
If you are are a hayfever sufferer now is the time to pay your local homeopath a visit before your symptoms make your life miserable.
If you would like to treat yourself or your family for their acute hayfever symptoms then read my article in the next issue which will describe the effective medicines for treating the acute symptoms of hayfever and how you use them.
If you want more simple information on how to treat a wide range of First Aid situations look no further than the Homeopathic Coach Guide to First Aid atwww.thehomeopathiccoach.com Happy Homeopathic home prescribing!
© Sam Adkins 2008
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This article was brought to you by Sam Adkins The Homeopathic Coach who publishes the ezine Homeopathy@Home to provide free Homeopathic tips, tools and resources to educate and inspire you to use Homeopathy at home. www.thehomeopathiccoach.com