Natural remedies for hay fever
Here’s my weekly two cents on a topic close to my heart (well, nose): hay fever and sinusitis! Hay fever season is certainly here! With the change in temperature and blustery days, my nose has been blocked most mornings this week upon waking.
Hay fever is an allergic reaction to something in our environment (dust mites, pollen etc). Hay fever that happens at certain times of the year is known as seasonal Hay fever.
When we breathe the irritating substances in (such as pollen) our body produces an immune response, causing swelling of our nasal passages, mucus production and itchy eyes. Prolonged mucus production and nasal blockages can lead to infection, which may or may not affect our sinuses.
How do we manage such a condition?
Obviously anti-histamines can help a lot. I always have a stash of Claratyne in my cupboard – worth its weight in gold on days when I don’t want to be dripping snot onto patients!
Other brands exist, too. Always discuss with GP or pharmacist before taking these drugs – certain medical conditions will exclude you from being able to safely take them.
Most of the time, pharmaceutical intervention will be useful, and certainly provide the most immediate relief possible among this list of interventions.
However, without being stoic, I’m one of those people that will try and reduce my reliance on drugs wherever possible. Other options for co-management of hay fever/sinusitis include:
Osteopathic treatment has been suggested to be able to help with mucus drainage, neck and face swelling and ease of breathing.
Without being stoic, I’m one of those people that will try and reduce my reliance on drugs wherever possible.
Whilst we can’t stop the allergic reaction itself, manual therapists can apply treatment to the lymphatic channels in your head and neck in order to encourage your body to flush out the leftover waste products from all that snot and bacteria (if infected).
There’s a small study that showed positive results for treatment (like all manual therapy techniques, more research is needed!).
Yes I know, medication again, but this can be useful in some cases of acute infection. Usually, low-grade infections will get better on their own; however, if symptoms last more than 2 weeks and pain isn’t decreasing, have a chat to your GP or osteopath for their opinion.
- Steam baths/Nasal sprays
The old “towel over the head, head over hot water” trick can help to open up your nasal passages and give you temporary relief from the discomfort of sinusitis.
Nasal sprays containing saline can also help to wash away any bacteria up your snoz, as well as opening up the nasal passages temporarily!
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