Pollen Allergy Causes
Each summer, spring and fall, tiny particles are released from weeds, trees, and grasses.
These particles commonly known as pollens take a free ride on currents of air to get to their desired destination. Though their intended mission is to fertilize parts of other plants, most of them never reach their destination. Instead, they enter human eyes, noses and throats causing pollen allergy also known as seasonal allergic rhinitis. Out of all the things that a cause allergic reaction, pollen is the most widespread culprit and among the trickiest allergen to avoid. This is because pollen is almost inescapable unless you stay indoors most of the time. Lucky enough pollen allergy treatments are easily available; these make life tolerable for people who have this condition.
In the past pollen allergy was commonly known as hay fever. Though it has been well known since the 1800s that the real culprit is pollen and not hay, most people still refer to the condition as hay fever. Allergic reactions to pollen are usually caused by the body’s immune response to inhaled pollen. This results in chronic inflammation of the nasal passage as well as the eyes. Pollen allergy symptoms include:
- Runny nose
- Nasal congestion
- Irritable and red, watery eyes
- A sore throat and palate
- Itchy ears
- Extreme fatigue
Effective pollen allergy treatments include:
Antihistamines counteract histamine; this is a substance made by your body when you have an allergic reaction. Antihistamine tablets and syrups are highly effective in managing sneezing, itchy and irritated eyes. Unfortunately, these drugs are not very effective against nasal dribble and blockage. In spite of this, antihistamines are considered ideal due to their flexibility. You can take them when you have complications and avoid them when you are well.
Decongestant sprays are good for unblocking and drying the nose; however, they should not be used for more than a few days since they tend to cause long term complications in the nose.
Decongestant tablets are also effective in drying and unblocking the nose, however just like sprays they should be used with caution.
The tablets are known for acting as stimulants which result in anxiety, tremors, and insomnia.
Intranasal corticosteroid nasal sprays
These sprays are effective in preventing and managing inflammation when used regularly just likes asthma preventer medications.
Immunotherapy is among the pollen allergy treatment options considered to be effective in the long term. Unlike medicines which only reduce the severity of the symptoms without curing the condition, immunotherapy seeks to deal with the cause of the allergy. The technique also known as desensitization aims at switching off the allergic response by introducing small doses of allergen extracts into the body. This can be done through injections or sublingual drops.
The physician keeps increasing the doses of the pollen causing your allergy symptoms. With time, the body builds up a resistance to these allergens. Though this treatment is effective, allergy shots require long-term commitment unlike most of the drugs used in managing the condition. In normal circumstances, immunotherapy takes about 3-5 years.
While standard medications can provide relief for pollen allergy, most of them tend to have adverse side effects. As a result, most people seek natural treatments for pollen allergy. These include:
Saline nasal spray
Saline nasal sprays help in clearing the pollen out of the nasal cavity.They also help in thinning and reducing the mucous in your nose. Less pollen in the nose and thinner mucous makes it easy to breathe.
This herb gained popularity when Swiss doctors conducted studies and published their discovery in the British Medical Journal indicating that the herb was highly effective in combating pollen allergies. The study showed that a single tablet containing butterbur taken 4 times daily was as effective as antihistamine drugs in managing the condition.
Apart from using conventional and natural approaches, you can manage seasonal allergic rhinitis by reducing exposure to pollen.
Pollen allergy relief tips include:
- Staying indoors after midday whenever possible and avoiding going out on windy days or after thunderstorms.
- Avoiding mowing the grass, however, if mowing is unavoidable, consider wearing a mask.
- Shower as soon as you get home and bathing your eyes regularly with wet washers.
- Planting a low allergen garden around your home