Lockdown is about to be lifted and we want to get outside and enjoy the sunshine. But in Spring many of us suffer the misery of seasonal allergies: sneezing, coughing, runny noses and many other unpleasant symptoms.
But what causes allergies and what can we do about it?
Hay fever symptoms are often brought on by pollens. These can be tree pollens as early as February/March or more commonly, grass pollens in April and May. If we suffer from allergies, our bodies make histamines when we come into contact with these triggers and this causes tissues to swell resulting in allergy symptoms. Antihistamines and steroids are usually prescribed by GP’s but these have side effects and many people will wish to avoid strong medications if possible.
So, are there natural ways we can reduce seasonal allergy symptoms effectively?
The good news is yes there are a range of options that will minimise the misery.
What causes allergies?
- Pollen allergies affect the nose, eyes & throat mostly but can trigger asthma attacks.
- Saline irrigation is a very effective treatment that can be offered to adults and children. A home-made salt solution in a spray bottle can be simply prepared or sterilised saline and a nose buddy are widely available.
- Washing your hair and showering frequently help to remove pollens. Remember to change clothing when you have been outside.
- Keep doors & windows shut and stay inside when pollen counts are high.
- Invest in pollen filters for car air vents and use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter.
- Wrap-around sunglasses can help to reduce pollen getting into your eyes.
There are other common allergy triggers that provoke symptoms and these can aggravate pollen allergies in springtime and make life very difficult.
- Debris from our pet’s skin and hair is a common allergy trigger.
- Hard surface flooring such as wood, vinyl or tiles is preferred over carpet.
- Floors should be vacuumed and then damp mopped frequently with an organic floor soap to reduce dander.
- Pets should not be encouraged to lie on beds or stay in bedrooms.
- Dogs and cats should be brushed regularly to remove loose hairs (ideally outside).
- Dust mites can be found in carpets, bedding and furniture.
- Washing bedlinen weekly at 60 degrees C or above is a must to kill off these tiny bugs. An unscented organic laundry liquid is best for this task.
- An organic neem oil sprayed onto mattresses and pillows can deter dust mites.
- A dehumidifier that reduces the humidity to less than 50% can also help to control dust mites.
“I love Greenscents products, especially the Nonscents range because they do not cause me any allergic reactions!” Lucia Mencarelli
- Molds grow in humid places and thrive inside and out. So it is important to limit our exposure as much as possible.
- Molds are so small they can be inhaled into the lungs and trigger an asthma attack.
- The black spots in the shower and on tiles are fungal molds. These should be removed by cleaning with an organic castile soap on a washable cloth which is then rinsed thoroughly with a little water. The surface should be dried with a clean t-towel to keep moisture levels down.
- Open windows in bathrooms and kitchens wherever possible to reduce the humidity and increase ventilation.
- Look out for molds in fridge drip trays, rubber door seals and food recycling bins and remove with organic castile soap as soon as possible.
- Keeping surfaces clean will mean you avoid the build-up of molds and spores.
The allergy season is upon us but now we know what causes allergies we can keep symptoms to a minimum with natural and organic remedies. Let us enjoy Spring to the full!