Hay fever

 Do you suffer from hay fever?

The winter woolies are back in the wardrobe, the days are lengthening and spring is finally here, with the promise of summer on the horizon. Sadly for an increasing number of people the enjoyment of the warmer weather is blighted by the misery of hay fever. Hay fever, or allergic rhinitis, is the most common allergy in the UK, with one in five people suffering symptoms at some point in their lives. The hay fever season can vary for individuals, depending on which substance they are allergic to. Tree pollens, such as birch, arrive first in the spring, followed by grass pollens in the summer and ending with fungal spores in the autumn. However, increased traffic congestion is adding to the problem, with ‘urban hay fever’ now affecting up to 60% of city residents.
Hay fever is an allergy caused by a weakened immune system. The most common symptoms include itchy, watery eyes, sneezing, coughing, itchy throat & palate, sore throat, respiratory wheezing, runny or stuffed up nose. Symptoms can be uncomfortable, annoying and stressful, severely effecting quality of life. As the highest pollen levels tend to coincide with end of term exams the effects on students are particularly detrimental, with 40% of sufferers likely to drop a grade in exams. This figure rises to 70% for students using sedating anti-histamines.
Conventional treatments include anti-histamines and topical steroids, both of which work by suppressing the body’s immune response to allergens. They generally need to be taken on a daily basis and can cause a number of side effects, such as drowsiness.
Homeopathy is a safe, natural, holistic alternative, which can help hay fever sufferers in two ways. Firstly, carefully selected homeopathic remedies offer symptomatic relief, free of unwanted side effects. Secondly, individual constitutional treatment with a professional homeopath will work to strengthen the immune system to prevent the problem returning in the future, although it may take a number of seasons to fully eradicate.
In the short-term the following remedies may offer symptomatic relief. Choosing the remedy that most closely matches your individual symptom picture, will offer the greatest benefit.
Some common remedies for the symptomatic relief of hay fever
§ Allium Cepa 30C
Stinging, watery eyes (NOT burning)
Dripping nose with thin, burning discharge, causing sore nostrils & upper lip
Violent sneezing
Raw, hoarse throat & may be tickly cough
Symptoms are worse indoors
Better for fresh air
§ Arsenicum Album 30C
Violent sneezing without relief
Burning sensation in eyes, nose and throat.
Eyes red & swollen & sensitive to light
Thin, watery nasal discharge
All discharges may be acrid
Symptoms are better indoors & better for warm applications (esp. eyes)
§ Euphrasia 30c
Eyes are severely affected: red, itchy and dry eyes, swollen lids, burning
discharge. Aversion to light
Tickling cough, intense
Sneezing, runny nose with bland discharge (NOT burning) during day
(nose stopped up at night)
Symptoms worse indoors
§ Pulsatilla 30C
Bland yellow-green discharge from the nose & eyes
Eyes itch and feel gritty
Sore, dry throat but no thirst
Loss of smell & taste
Symptoms worse in a stuffy room
Better in open air
§ Sabadilla 30c
Bouts of violent sneezing, provokes tears
Red, burning, watery eyes with swollen lids
Constant, maddening tingling in nose, with desire to rub
Hypersensitivity of smell, esp garlic & flowers
Dry throat with soreness on swallowing
Symptoms worse for cold air
Better for open air & heat
These remedies are available at health food stores, homeopathic pharmacies and most good chemists. However, since a susceptibility to hay fever suggests a deeper underlying cause you may wish to consider individual constitutional treatment with Josephine.


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