At the Eminence Certified Organic Farm, we love connecting with the great outdoors. But what if stepping foot outdoors means that your breathing turns to wheezing? Seasonal allergies, sometimes called “hay fever,” are harmless for most people. But others may experience severe hay fever symptoms.
From watery, red and itchy eyes to sneezing and a runny nose, these common symptoms can change with the seasons. Most people recognize that you can prevent and treat allergies with medications and allergy shots. What you may not know is that there are also a number of preventive actions you could take to help avoid or relieve seasonal allergies too. As always, we advise that you consult your health care professional first before following any recommendations for allergies.
Signs & Symptoms Of Seasonal Allergies
According to Cleveland Clinic, seasonal allergic rhinitis, or hay fever, is an allergic response to pollen. This type of allergy occurs mainly in the spring and fall, when pollen from trees, grasses and weeds are in the air.
“Allergies are your body’s reaction to a normally harmless substance such as pollen, molds, animal dander, latex, certain foods and insect stings. Allergy symptoms range from mild – rash or hives, itchiness, runny nose, watery/red eyes – to life-threatening.”
Your body incorrectly interprets pollen as a threat, triggering an inflammatory defense response which causes those irritating symptoms. Some of the most common symptoms from hay fever include:
- runny nose
- mucus (phlegm) in the throat
So, when does allergy season start? According to Purvi Parikh, MD, an allergist and immunologist with Allergy & Asthma Network who spoke to Women’s Health, it’s technically always allergy season thanks to continual triggers such as dust mites, mold, and pet dander. But tree pollen, for example, appears in the spring between late March to April, grass pollen appears in May during spring, weed pollen in the summer between July to August and ragweed pollen during summer to fall. Read on as we explore both natural remedies plus prevention tips to ward off seasonal allergy symptoms.
5 Natural Remedies For Seasonal Allergies
Researchers are currently looking at whether probiotics reduce the symptoms of both environmental and food-related allergies. Probiotics contain “good” bacteria that is typically found in the large intestine of healthy people. You may want to see if probiotics help reduce your symptoms. Probiotics are available in many forms including fermented foods like yoghurt, kefir or in supplemental drinks, tablets or capsules. They have proven “beneficial in a number of immune-mediated and allergic diseases,” as one 2015 study states. 17 studies show a significant clinical benefit from the use of probiotics when compared to placebos, whereas six trials showed no benefit.
Probiotics also have shown benefits in skin care. The American Academy of Dermatology says probiotics are “immune modulators” and have been used in inflammatory skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis. The Journal states: “Their role in acne, wound healing, and photoprotection is promising, but larger trials are needed before a final recommendation can be made.” All skin types and all skin conditions can turn to the Eminence Organics Clear Skin probiotic products for skin that looks healthy and strong. Part of our Clear Skin line, our Clear Skin Probiotic Moisturizer contains “good” bacteria, cucumber juice, yogurt, tea tree oil and a Biocomplex2™ super antioxidant booster that restores radiance, vitality and strength to the skin.
Another natural home remedy is a spoonful of honey. Although not yet scientifically proven, the anecdotal theory goes that when a person ingests honey, they are also consuming local pollen which allows them to become more resistant to triggers and experience fewer seasonal allergy symptoms. As for honey in skin care, this rich ingredient has been known to help with wound healing and fight against infections. Our Rosehip & Maize Exfoliating Masque contains honey and rosehip ingredients — The honey moisturizes beautifully and nourishes the look of the skin while rosehip provides hydration.
3. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is said to reduce the severity of allergies by decreasing your body’s histamine production. It’s found in a variety of fruits and vegetables, and you can also take Vitamin C supplements. This potent vitamin even protects the skin against oxidative stress and free radicals. Our Lime Refresh Tonique, Citrus & Kale Potent C+E Masque and Citrus & Kale Potent C+E Serum all harness the power of Vitamin C, visibly reducing the appearance of fine lines and leaving the skin looking fresh.
A 2015 study conducted a clinical trial on patients with allergic rhinitis on spirulina-based dietary supplements and found that this algae offered “protective effects.” For the skin, spirulina is a great source of antioxidants, which can protect against oxidative damage and help the skin fight free radicals.
5. Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Some alternative health advocates recommend eucalyptus essential oils for opening up sinuses and lungs to reduce the symptoms of allergies. Eucalyptus is also antiseptic and a calming and restorative agent for your skin. If you have oily or combination skin types, you may love the Eucalyptus Cleansing Concentrate. Thanks to its purifying properties, your complexion will appear smoother and brighter.
5 Simple Prevention Tips For Seasonal Allergies
If you’re wondering how to avoid seasonal allergies with preventive remedies, you might be surprised by how easy some of the fixes are.
1. Limit Gardening Activities
The best prevention is to avoid any and all contact with allergens. Limit your mowing tasks, weed pulling and gardening chores if you can ( preferably delegate these chores to someone else!). Working in the garden will stir up the fight or flight response in your immune system. And while you’re at the task of delegating, request that someone give your pets a vigorous brushing before they come back into the house to decrease levels of animal dander allergens .
2. Check Pollen Counts
Check the forecast for high pollen counts and limit your time outdoors. You may save yourself a lot of discomfort. In addition, keep your windows closed and wear a mask outside on windy days, which can help with allergy symptoms. The best time to go outside is after it rains because the pollen has been washed away.
3. Use An Air Conditioner With a HEPA Filter
Use air conditioning in the warmer months to get rid of outdoor pollen or allergens. Not just any air conditioner but one with a HEPA filter to provide clean air, instead of a ceiling fan that recirculates dusty air. HEPA filters are made from glass fibers and the best of the best trap 99% of pollen, smoke particles and dust for a clean and well-ventilated home.
4. Ban Indoor Smoking
It’s common knowledge that cigarette smoke damages your lungs, but if you’re not a smoker and you have a smoker in your house, kindly suggest they avoid smoking around you or indoors at all. Overall, do your best to avoid cigarette smoke from others, which will only aggravate your allergy symptoms.
5. Dust-Proof Your House
The symptoms of dust mite allergy are similar to those of pollen allergy which is why you may want to also dust-proof your house. Hopefully your house is not carpeted – it’s best to avoid rugs, carpets and other dust-collecting mats (especially in your bedroom). You can purchase hypoallergenic bed sheets, duvet and pillow covers. Wash them regularly, but do not line-dry clothes and bed sheets outside. Also, rather than sweeping, clean surfaces and corners with a damp cloth or sponge can pick up dust more effectively. Keep furry pets out of the bedroom to reduce pet dander allergen in your sleeping area.
When Prevention Isn’t Enough For Allergies
When these at-home strategies are not relieving your seasonal allergies, please see your doctor if the symptoms are impacting your quality of life. Taking over-the-counter antihistamine medications or even a nasal spray decongestant helps most people. But if your seasonal allergies are still bothersome, don’t lose hope. A number of medical treatments can be recommended by a doctor. Your doctor may suggest blood tests or skin tests to see if your allergies are triggered by something else. We sincerely hope that by taking these extra precautions, your symptoms will reduce which will allow you to breathe freely and easily.
Enjoying nature freely is important to us at the farm, even during allergy season! If you’re using these tips and recommendations, we’d love to hear from you. What are your natural tips for dealing with seasonal allergies? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below or share with us on social media!