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Natural hay fever remedies

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As the days get longer and warmer, there’s far more opportunity to get out of the house. There are all kinds of benefits to spending time outdoors. Being in nature is great for mental health, and getting sun on the skin lets our bodies make vitamin D, which is essential for bone and muscle health.

One downside of spending more time outside is that it can trigger seasonal allergies. If you have hay fever, you may be used to spending the spring and summer battling unpleasant symptoms like itchy eyes, sneezing and coughing.

Unfortunately, there’s no cure for hay fever. However, there are lots of treatments available for managing symptoms, some of which are based on natural ingredients.

If you think you might be experiencing hay fever, read on for a list of the most common symptoms.

Symptoms of hay fever

  • Sneezing
  • Runny or blocked nose
  • Coughing
  • Itching, redness, and watering in the eyes
  • Itching in the throat, mouth, nose, and ears
  • Losing your sense of smell
  • Headache
  • Earache
  • Feeling really tired

Hay fever treatments

Typically, hay fever doesn’t require a visit to your GP, unless your symptoms are very severe. Instead, you can go to your local pharmacy and speak to the pharmacist about hay fever treatment.

The standard treatment for hay fever is antihistamines, which block the body’s release of histamine, the substance that creates the allergic reaction. These come as tablets, nasal sprays and drops. Antihistamines are available over the counter, or on prescription from your GP.

Another option is Ectoin, a naturally-derived treatment that creates a coating of water molecules, protecting the skin from irritation and inflammation.

Natural remedies for hay fever

If you’re trying to manage these symptoms at home, you might want to try a combination of natural home remedies and pharmacy treatments like Ectoin and antihistamines.

Some natural home remedies that might help soothe your symptoms include:

  • Steam inhalation for a blocked nose – fill a bowl with hot water, put a towel over your head and the bowl, and inhale the steam
  • Honey and lemon for a cough – fill a mug with boiled water and add half a squeezed lemon and a spoonful of honey, then leave until it’s cool enough to drink
  • Pelargonium for a cough – this is a type of herbal medicine that may help to soothe a cough
  • A cold compress for irritated eyes – putting something cool over your eyes can help if they’re very itchy

Other ways to manage hay fever

  • Putting petroleum jelly around your nostrils to trap pollen
  • Wearing wraparound sunglasses to protect your eyes
  • Using an allergy reliever
  • Putting a pollen filter in your car
  • Using a vacuum with a HEPA filter
  • Showering and washing your clothes when you come indoors after being outside

It’s also a good idea to check the pollen count at the start of the day – if it’s really high, and you get severe symptoms, it might be a good idea to stay home and keep your windows and doors closed.

References

www.mind.org.uk/information-support/tips-for-everyday-living/nature-and-mental-health/how-nature-benefits-mental-health
www.nhs.uk/conditions/vitamins-and-minerals/vitamin-d
www.nhs.uk/conditions/hay-fever
www.ectoin.net/index.php/EN/faq
https://ipswichandeastsuffolkccg.nhs.uk/Portals.pdf
www.nhs.uk/conditions/cough
www.specsavers.co.uk/eye-health/itchy-eyes