According to the Mayo Clinic, hay fever signs and symptoms can include:
• Runny nose and nasal congestion
• Watery, itchy, red eyes (allergic conjunctivitis)
• Itchy nose, roof of mouth or throat
• Swollen, blue-colored skin under the eyes (allergic shiners)
• Postnasal drip
Hay fever symptoms can be similar to symptoms of the common cold. You can distinguish between these two conditions by paying attention to all the symptoms involved including the specific symptoms, the time of onset, and the duration of the symptoms. As a simple rule of thumb, people with a cold often feel sicker than those with hay fever allergies. Additionally, the time of onset for the common cold is often 1-3 days after exposure to a cold virus. However, the time of onset for hay fever allergies is immediately after exposure to allergens (i.e. pollen, spores, etc.) For example if you are allergic to tree pollen, the time of onset of your symptoms is commonly during the Spring season, but the time of onset for ragweed pollen is commonly in Fall. If a person suffers from symptoms of hay fever and a cold at the same time then he or she should refer to a doctor so that the doctor can determine whether the patient is suffering from allergies or the common cold or potentially both.
There are numerous supplements that are designed to help with typical hay fever allergy symptoms. In my experience, a great number of these supplements are not as effective as antihistamine drugs. However, after years of prescribing various natural supplements for treating symptoms of hay fever, I have found only a handful of highly effective natural supplements to help with hay fever. These allergy supplements, mostly herbal and homeopathic in nature, have a high level of popularity among our patients.
Our patients report that taking these allergy supplements works just as effectively, if not better, than antihistamines. Additionally, allergy supplements do not cause any of the common side effects of antihistamines such as drowsiness or dry mouth.
Once again homeopathy comes to rescue. I would like to specifically point out how homeopathy can be of great benefit in treating symptoms of hay fever. I prescribe single homeopathic remedies as well as combination remedies for treating symptoms of hay fever. They both work effectively. I have had many patients, especially kids, whose environmental allergies were completely alleviated with single homeopathic remedies, namely their “constitutional” homeopathic remedy. (Refer to my website to learn what “constitutional” homeopathy means.) Additionally, we have combination homeopathic concoctions that are highly effective for treating hay fever symptoms as well. These combination remedies may be referred to as desensitization allergy drops since they appear to desensitize patients’ response to their environmental allergies, similar to the conventional pharmaceutical allergy shots. You can benefit from taking these combination homeopathic remedies during allergy season for symptom management, but the bonus is that year after year the severity of your allergy symptoms may decrease as well.
In addition to the above supplements that are used orally to address symptoms of hay fever, there are also natural eye drops and nasal sprays that are highly effective in treating the various symptoms associated with hay fever, including watery, itchy, and red eyes as well as runny and itchy nose. I recommend the use of these supplements in addition to, not instead of, the oral supplements.
Of course conventional medicine also offers solutions for management of allergies. Conventional doctors typically recommend over-the-counter antihistamines as well as allergy shots which may work well but may also have side effects. According to the Mayo Clinic, “some of the main side effects of antihistamines include: Dry mouth, drowsiness, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, restlessness or moodiness, trouble urinating or not being able to urinate, blurred vision, and confusion.” Additionally, Mayo Clinic states that “reactions to allergy shots are possible, and can include:
• Local reactions, which can involve redness, swelling or irritation at the injection site. These common reactions typically begin within a few hours of the injection and clear up soon after.
• Systemic reactions, which are less common — but potentially more serious. You may develop sneezing, nasal congestion or hives. More-severe reactions may include throat swelling, wheezing or chest tightness.
• Anaphylaxis is a rare life-threatening reaction to allergy shots. It can cause low blood pressure and trouble breathing. Anaphylaxis often begins within 30 minutes of the injection, but sometimes starts later than that.”
Most natural medicine practitioners would probably agree that allergy shots are suppressive to the immune system which is unhealthy for our body. Therefore I recommend that people who suffer from symptoms of hay fever consider using natural alternatives since they do not have any side effects. To receive the most appropriate natural therapies, please consult with a licensed naturopathic physician.