Hay fever is not to be sniffed at, and it doesn’t just affect you during the summer months. And perhaps you’re already suffering from one of the following symptoms|:
• Sneezing, coughing, wheezing or shortness of breath?
• Itchy, red or watery eyes, a runny nose, itchy throat, mouth, nose and ears?
• Pain around the temples and forehead?
• A loss of smell?
• Earache or headache?
• Lethargy, dizziness or a lack of mental and physical focus?
If so, you may have seasonal allergic rhinitis, more commonly known as hay fever and be one of the eighteen million people in the UK who suffer.
A quarter of these will be affected early on from tree pollen such as Birch, but hay fever peaks in mid-summer as most people are affected by grasses.
One single catkin can produce more than one million pollen grains which contain proteins that cause swelling and inflammation of the mucous membranes. These produce a myriad of accompanying symptoms affecting the quality of the sufferer’s life, including decreasing both their mental and physical capabilities. In addition, it comes at a particularly stressful time of year for students, during their examination period, and the summer is often the busiest time of year for some competitive sports when athletes need to be in tip top condition.
In a study by Meda Pharmaceuticals 68 per cent of those with hay fever said it affected their ability to think and concentrate, 53% said they were less likely to attend social functions, and 28% said they were unhappy with their treatment.
It is said that there is no cure for hay fever. The medications generally offered are antihistamine and steroid drops, pills and nasal sprays, which suppress and control the condition. However, these can often produce their own symptoms and side effects. Avoiding exposure to pollen can also make life miserable, debilitating and anti-social.
Natural therapies can have a positive effect on the symptoms of hayfever. Karen, our in-house homeopath, uses homeopathy, essential oils, nutrition and herbal tinctures to help those who suffer from hay fever. To date, nine randomised controlled trials using homeopathy for allergies have been carried out, with positive findings.
Karen, trained at the British Institute for Allergy and Environmental Therapy and may be able to desensitise your hay fever or other allergies. The protocols used were tested at The Glasgow Homeopathy Hospital where 87% of the patients noted that their hay fever symptoms were reduced.