Freedom from Allergies to Enjoy the Bloom and Grass of Nature
The natural environment can be a great source of inspiration. Flowers that bloom in springtime, as well as the lush greeneries of summer all provide soothing relief to the eyes. However, for certain individuals, the natural environment can become their worst nightmare in an instant.
Pollen allergy is just one of the many types of allergies that affect millions of people all over the world. Contrary to what many people believe, pollen allergy does not only occur during springtime when trees flowering plants are in their full bloom. Grasses and weeds also produce a variety of pollen that can significantly induce allergic responses among susceptible individuals. Grasses are known to pollinate from the last few weeks of spring until the middle of summer while weeds are known to pollinate from the last few weeks of summer until the early days of autumn.
Pollen stimulates the body’s immune system into hyperactive mode, producing the classic symptoms of sneezing, nasal congestion that is characterized by a stuffy or runny nose, itching on the inside of the ears and the throat, skin redness or patches known as hives, itchy eyes, swollen eyelids, and trouble breathing as well as coughing and wheezing.
As in any type of allergy, the best remedy is to avoid pollen altogether. But since it is clearly impossible for you to stay indoors while everyone is enjoying the great outdoors during the spring and summer months, you will need to have a ready supply of allergy medications as well as home-made remedies available.
Medications often used in the control of pollen allergy symptoms act by reducing the inflammatory processes associated with the allergic reaction. The net effect of these medications is the symptomatic relief of nasal congestion, eye and ear stuffiness, as well as itching.
- Antihistamines can be taken either orally or as a nasal spray. Nasal sprays are more preferred in that the action is confined to a local region, minimizing the systemic side effects often seen in these drugs.
- Corticosteroids are also used either in oral or nasal spray formulations. Again, locally-acting nasal spray corticosteroids are more preferred unless you don’t mind falling asleep afterward should you choose its oral form.
- Nasal decongestants are also used to facilitate easier and more efficient breathing.
- In some cases, mast cell stabilizers, as well as leukotriene inhibitors have been recommended; although their side effects are often the reason for their limited use.
Home remedies for pollen allergies
When concerns for safety override the effectiveness afforded by pollen allergy medications, home remedies and other natural allergy remedies can be substituted. However, as not all of these have been scientifically proven, it is recommended that these home remedies only be used in mild forms of pollen allergies.
- Irrigating the nasal cavity with a sterile saline solution can help unclog stuffy nose.
- Butterbur and bromelain have both been associated with mild nasal decongestive.
- Inhaling steam, with the addition of peppermint tea or even eucalyptus oil, has also been shown to relieve milder forms of nasal congestion as well as throat irritation.
For pollen allergy sufferers, it is important to seek medical advice in order to determine the best management. While there may be concerns about the safety of allergy medications, the effectiveness of home remedies is also not without drawbacks. Finding the perfect balance between safety and efficacy should be the paramount concern of all pollen allergy sufferers.