I decided to write about Hay fever this week, as we are about to enter the ‘sneezing season’.
WHAT IS HAY FEVER
Hay Fever or Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis as it is also known, is an allergic reaction to pollen. To explain that in a little more detail, pollen is a fine powder released by plants as part of their reproductive process. In those suffering Hay Fever the body sees this fine powder as harmful and produces an antibody called immunoglobulin E to attack it. The body then releases a chemical called histamine, which is responsible for the symptoms you suffer, as it seeks to rid the body of this perceived invader.
SYMPTOMS OF HAY FEVER
The symptoms can be very intense and completely disrupt a person’s life, especially those who work outside and therefore cannot avoid pollen. Symptoms include:
Sneezing, which can be very intense
Runny nose, in severe reactions the nasal passages run like a tap, the membranes become inflamed and complete block the nose due to the acrid nature of the secretions
Itchy eyes, which cause the person to rub the eyes until they become red and inflamed. Yet no amount of scratching helps reduce the itching
Itching in the roof of the mouth and in the ears is also common and here again, no amount of scratching relieves
The symptoms can be mild but in severe cases these symptoms can be very disabling.
CONVENTIONAL TREATMENTS AVAILABLE
The most common conventional treatment is by Antihistamine, either in tablet or spray form. While these seek to block the production of histamine they can also cause drowsiness. Eye drops are used to lubricate the eyes and help with the itching. Another option is oral or nasal Corticosteroids for very severe symptoms but these should only be used as sparingly as possible and are not a long-term solution due to their side-effects.
HOW I TREAT HAY FEVER
I use several different methods of treating this condition depending on the symptoms suffered and the severity of the condition. After all, everyone is individual and if there was only one way of treating Hay Fever everyone would try this and the condition would no longer exist. So to expand on the treatment methods I offer:
Reflexology calms and seeks to re-balance the whole system thus helping stop the over reaction to pollen
Homoeopathy – there are a mixture of pollens that can be taken in homoeopathic potency to help the body see that pollen is not the enemy and calm down the reaction to pollen. There are also a range of Homoeopathic remedies that can calm the symptoms when they are in full swing. I will list some of these later with indications for use. I also use Histamine in Homoeopathic potency, which also helps to bring the body’s reaction to pollen back into balance
Tissue Salts – these are very popular and come in a special combination to deal with the most commons symptoms of Hay Fever. Tissue salts balance the body’s reaction to pollen and can be used individually or in combination. As these are very gentle they can be repeated as often as necessary without any side effects or toxic reaction.
Pollinosan Luffa Nasal Spray – this is my favourite nasal spray as it contains seven herbs in an isotonic solution which can be used for as long as needed without fear of causing harm to the delicate membranes of the nose. It calms the nasal passages and lines them
In my practice after taking a full case history i would decide which of the above treatments would be most suitable.
HOMOEOPATHIC REMEDIES AND TISSUE SALTS FOR HAY FEVER
There are lots of Homoeopathic remedies that can be indicated in the acute treatment of Hay Fever and while it is better to seek Constitutional treatment before the season starts, the remedies below can be taken to help reduce the acute symptoms:
Allium Cepa 6c – Bouts of sneezing, burning watery nasal discharge. Sore nostrils and upper lip. Eyes itch, painless watering. Tickling cough
Arundo 6c – Indicated early in the hay fever season with tickling in the nose and sneezing with no discharge. The roof of the mouth. ears and eyes are very itchy
Dulcamara 6c – Constant sneezing, stuffy or steaming nose, eyes swollen and watering.
Euphrasia 6c – Thick burning discharge from the eyes which are very swollen. Bland discharge from the nose
Gelsemium 6c – Violent sneezing, nose running or burning and dry. Eyes hot with heavy eyelids. Face flushed and heavy-looking
Sabadilla 6c – Bouts of sneezing with profuse watery nasal discharge. Numbness and itching of the throat (trying to scratch the back of throat with the tongue). Very sensitive to strong scents. Sinus pain over the eyes. Constant need to swallow
These are just a few of the remedies that can be indicated to help with the acute symptoms of Hay fever but as you can see the symptoms overlap, so if you try one and it does not work it may be that another would be better indicated. There are also combinations of the above remedies that can work well.
Tissue Salts are amazing, I use them an awful lot in my practice with great success. In the treatment of Hay fever there is a combination that can be taken every 15 minutes if needed in very acute situations. The combination is Mag Phos 6x Nat Mur 6x and Silica 6x.
If you are a Hay fever sufferer there is help out there and a lot of alternative remedies to try, alone or in combination. As I mentioned previously if there was only one solution that worked for everyone with Hay fever then everyone would use or take it and there would be no more Hay fever. This said, I do believe there is something that will help and it is often trail and error that takes you to the very thing that will work for you.
I hope the above information has been helpful to you.