Picture sitting in an early class, eyes sunken, red and itching consistently every few seconds. The back of the throat feels like a small “ahem” is going to satisfy its subtle itch. Nose sniffly but not clogged– this is definitely not the flu. Maybe it’s a series of breathing troubles, a sneezing fit or intense sinus pressure. It’s uncomfortable, it’s highly confusing and it can bring an individual to the brink asking the world “WHY?”
Hay fever, that’s why.
It is a seasonal condition, in which the body reacts to natural pollens in the air that one breathes into the lungs or comes in contact with the eyes. These allergies affect 50 million people in the United States. That’s roughly 30 percent of adults and 40 percent of children.
Outdoor allergies are triggered by many factors such as: trees, grass and weed pollen, mold spores, dust mites, cockroaches and animal dander.
The most common allergies begin in the month of February and end in the early summer. They are highly influenced by weather patterns in the area as tree and weed pollens are increased in climates that have warm days and cold nights. Wind highly affects allergies, because its forces carry pollen. When there is low wind, these airborne allergens are grounded and less variant.
Avoiding these allergens is virtually impossible, but there are ways to combat discomfort. Regardless of where one lives, these allergens are virtually everywhere. To escape the fear of becoming ill, the best way to fight allergies is to know what triggers there are in the local area. In Tulsa and many parts of Oklahoma, over 30 different allergy-contributing plants grow during the spring. These plants yet again vary in how severely they affect the majority of individuals
Many ways have developed to combat such a natural and unpredictable force. Immunotherapy shot treatment is available for people who are experiencing life disturbing allergies, but many other less intense treatments also exist. Several over-the-counter season allergy medications are sold locally.
More natural remedies exist to combat allergies. Oregano is a great way to combat all the symptoms of seasonal allergies; peppermint oil and lavender are also effective against sinus headaches and congestion. Eucalyptus oil and daily apple cider vinegar have also proven to aid in symptoms. Eating local raw honey from a farmers market or local store can increase the immunity of ones’ body against allergies persistent in their area.
But the greatest of all these deterrents is to be aware. An individual heavily hit by grass pollens should avoid mowing lawns excessively. Roll down windows less on windy days with extreme pollen, and check local websites to determine what sort of things are in the air daily.
Visiting a local allergist and determining the direct source of suffering may be the best resolve for daily discomfort. Happy hay fever season everyone.