WHAT CAUSES HAY FEVER?
It is caused when the body makes allergic antibodies to certain substances, such as pollen, house dust mites or mould, which are known as allergens.
Grass pollen is the most common allergen (May to July), but tree (February to June) and weed (June to September) pollens can also cause the allergic reaction we know as hay fever. In perennial allergic rhinitis the symptoms continue all year round and usually relate to indoor allergens, such as house dust mites, pets, including birds, or moulds.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
- Itchy eyes/ throat
- Sneezing, blocked/runny nose
- Watering, red eyes (allergic conjunctivitis)
- Headaches, blocked sinuses
- Shortness of breath
- Asthma attacks
- The sensation of mucus running down the back of the throat, which can also be a symptom, is called ‘post-nasal drip’
HOW DO I MANAGE HAY FEVER?
These unpleasant and sometimes debilitating symptoms can be relieved by avoidance of the allergic triggers and the use of antihistamines:
- Monitor pollen forecasts daily and stay indoors wherever possible when the count is high (generally on warmer, dry days). Rain washes pollen from the air so counts should be lower on cooler, wet days.
- On high pollen days, shower and wash your hair after arriving home and change your clothing.
- Avoid drying washing on a clothes-line outside when pollen counts are high
If your hay fever is causing you misery, and you’re not seeing improvements in your symptoms despite trying to avoid the common triggers and popping those antihistamines, there are also more proactive ways to tackle your seasonal scourge, such as Acupuncture. A spokeswoman for the British Acupuncture Council said
"every summer, each practitioner in the UK will treat at least two or three hay fever sufferers, the symptoms can be helped quite substantially".
HOW ACUPUNCTURE MAY HELP
Acupuncture may help to relieve pain and congestion in people with allergic rhinitis and has been used in China and other eastern cultures to restore vitality and alleviate the symptoms of allergic reactions for over 2,500 years. By inserting fine needles into the channels of energy which run underneath our skin, an acupuncturist can stimulate the body's own healing response and help restore its natural balance. The acupuncture treatment may include needles around the nose and sinuses, but may also include other body areas such as hands and feet. These techniques are very gentle and use very short fine needles and can be performed with very little or no discomfort.
If you are suffering with hay fever and would like further information on how Acupuncture may help you, please contact us at the Centre for an appointment.