Hayfever: How to Stop Itching Eyes, Hives, Sneezing, and other Symptoms
It’s that time of year again when you’re sneezing, you come out in hives, or your eyes are watering and itching madly! Hayfever is when your immune system reacts to allergens in pollen, and can cause summer to be one long round of misery for lots of people. So here’s some things you can do to help calm down your symptoms.
These don’t work for everyone, but they’re worth trying. Be aware that some antihistamines can make you drowsy, so if you have to drive or go to work ask your pharmacist for the ones that won’t make you fall asleep.
Stay Indoors and Close the Windows
It’s not practical all the time, but if you’re experiencing a violent reaction it will at least provide you with some relief while you try out some of the other suggestions.
Eat local honey
This might be folklore or an old wives’ tale, but the theory is that local honey will help your immune system to ignore the pollen it encounters in your everyday environment. It's probably worth having a spoonful every day to see if it works for you.
Use eyewash and an eyebath to rinse the pollen out of your eyes
If you get soothing eyewash and an eyebath, it’s a portable way of being able to rinse the stray pollen out of your eyes throughout the day.
Eat lots of fruit – especially fruit that’s high in vitamin C
Fruit and veggies are not just good for your health in general, but vitamin C and other antioxidants and vitamins can make your allergy discomfort go away. Load up on fruit salads, eat an orange, drink juice and make your own smoothies out of whole fresh fruit like blueberries and strawberries. Tip: add the flesh of half an avocado to get healthy oils in your smoothie and to stop it ‘frothing up’. Avocados won’t affect the flavour, either. Red peppers, papaya, mangoes and berries are all high in vitamin C, as well as oranges, lemons and limes.
Take a shower, or Splash Your Face and Eyes with Cool Water
Again, this is temporary relief, but it will give you some breathing space, and especially after work when you can rinse all the pollen from your eyes, then close the windows and escape from the pollen for the evening.
Avoid other allergens – like dogs, cats, dust mites and mould
No point in adding allergens on top of more allergens, so try to keep some distance between you and your pets; get a vacuum cleaner that has an allergen filter; and if there are any spots of damp or mould in your home get them treated.
Stay away from Triggers if you can – like Grass Cutting and Rape Fields
If someone’s doing the gardening on their front lawn; like clipping the hedges and cutting the grass, cross over to the other side of the road to avoid all the pollen their snipping and pruning will be scattering into the air. Long walks in the country might have to be postponed until the autumn, and stay away from farms, because some of the most popular crops like rape fields, are the biggest hayfever offenders.
Eat to make your immune system healthy
If your immune system is in tip-top shape it’s less likely to over-react to allergens. Eat oily fish, seafood, fruit and veg, whole grains, bio-yoghurt, and white meat like chicken.
Reishi and Cordyceps – Traditional Chinese Medicine
These herbs are a part of Chinese Traditional Medicine, and they have the reputation of calming allergies and getting rid of the symptoms. Both are made from mushrooms, and there is quite a bit of evidence and medical opinion that they work.
Green and White Tea
Research has shown that green tea might help to stop allergies in their tracks. It isn't proven yet, but it is a well-known and widely used home remedy, and unless you are taking certain medications like blood thinners, green tea is very safe - and very delicious too!
Both green and white teas are the darlings of medical research in recent years, and there are a lot of studies and scientific evidence that the extensive claims about the health benefits are true.The best green tea to drink is loose-leaf high-grade tea – If you’re not sure where to buy from, I’ve reviewed my own favourite online teashops (which I’m not affiliated to in any way).If you’re interested in green tea, look at this article where I’ve looked at the science behind the claims of tea’s health benefits, or my Complete Guide for Newbies to Green Tea.