The summer seems to be finally showing itself!
However, with the summer sun comes Allergic Rhinitus , more commonly known as hay fever- which we can all agree is a nightmare. Although we cannot avoid hay fever, there are ways of reducing the negative effects. Hopefully, this blog will help you to eliminate the pestering pollen effects and enable you to breathe in the summer air this year!
Signs and symptoms include a runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, red, itchy, and watery eyes, and swelling around the eyes.
Hay Fever is caused when our bodies produce allergic antibodies to the proteins in tree and grass pollen. Histamine causes the familiar itching, sneezing and running of the nose and sore eyes that make hay fever misery. Hay fever will last for weeks or months, unlike a cold, which usually goes away after 1 to 2 weeks.
There’s currently no cure for hay fever and you cannot prevent it. But you can do things to ease your symptoms when the pollen count is high.
- Put Vaseline around your nostrils to trap pollen.
- Wear wraparound sunglasses to stop pollen getting into your eyes.
- Shower and change your clothes after you have been outside to wash pollen off.
- Stay indoors whenever possible.
- Keep windows and doors shut as much as possible.
- Vacuum regularly and dust with a damp cloth.
- Buy a pollen filter for the air vents in your car and a vacuum cleaner with a special HEPA filter.
- Do not cut grass or walk on grass.
- Do not spend too much time outside.
- Do not keep fresh flowers in the house.
- Do not smoke or be around smoke – it makes your symptoms worse.
- Do not dry clothes outside – they can catch pollen.
- Do not let pets into the house if possible – they can carry pollen indoors.
A great natural way to aid hayfever is essential oils. Essential oils may be used as an alternative or complementary treatment for allergy symptoms. They’re derived from plants and can be used in a variety of ways. Popular ways to use essential oils include:
- Diffusing them into the air.
- Using them in bath and spa products.
- Applying them to the skin when diluted.
- Spraying them into the air.
- Breathing them in directly from the container.
Some really great and effective essential oils that will help to relieve allergy symptoms include:
- Lavender- It may help soothe your symptoms during allergy season thanks to its ability to calm and reduce inflammation. Try using lavender in a diffuser for aromatherapy or dilute it in a carrier oil and soak in a bath with a bit added.
- Blend of Sandalwood, Frankincense, and Ravensara oil – To use these blended oils, mix with a carrier oil (such as sweet almond oil) and apply to the skin, they can also be diffused into the air.
- Eucalyptus- known as an anti-inflammatory and may help with congestion. The cooling sensation you experience while breathing it in may also help you feel relief as you deal with and treat seasonal allergies. Try diffusing eucalyptus into the air or breathing it in from the bottle to provide you with comfort.
- Tea tree oil- this oil is recognised as an anti-inflammatory and therefore may help with allergies.
- Peppermint- is known to reduce inflammation. You’ll be able to breathe easier by diffusing the oil or even applying it on your skin after it’s diluted with a carrier oil- such as almond or olive oil. Combining peppermint with lavender and lemon oils creates an effective and soothing allergy relief combination as well. Please note-if you apply citrus oils, you will be sun-sensitive.
- Lemon- Citrus-scented essential oils are often used in aromatherapy to boost alertness and energy. Lemon essential oil can also help clear your sinuses and reduce congestion- a common symptom of seasonal allergies. Be careful exposing your skin to sunlight or tanning beds if you’re using lemon or any citrus-scented oils. Try diffusing the oil to lift your mood or diluting and applying it to your skin to help with allergy symptoms.
Safety note essential oils should never be applied neat on the skin, they should always be mixed with a carrier oil. Some essential oils can also trigger allergies, do please do a skin patch test before using and never ingest any essential oils.
Different people have different reactions to essential oils, so it’s important to be cautious as you integrate essential oils into your routine. Although they’re widely considered safe, you should speak with your doctor to make sure you don’t have an allergy.
Here’s to a happy, hay fever free summer!