How to cure hay fever allergies naturally: Natural Remedies For Hay Fever
Natural Remedies For Hay Fever
Spring and summer are wonderful time of year. We’ve made it through a long and cold winter and the sun is starting to shine again (hopefully). The once bare landscape makes way for tender buds and glossy greens – an awakening for all of nature, including ourselves. For those of us who suffer with hay fever, spring and summer can symbolise a time of apprehension as we prepare for the increase in pollen.
Why (oh why) does hay fever occur?
Hay fever is often seen as a reflection of the change in seasons that occurs during the transition from winter through to spring. As the warmth of spring increases, it also warms the body influencing a ‘melting’ of congestion and toxic accumulation that has occurred over the winter period. Hay fever is an allergic reaction (an immune system overreaction) to pollen released primarily by grasses, but can also be triggered by pollen released from trees.
Pollen particles contain a protein that causes inflammation, irritation and swelling of the nasal passages, but can also affect the eyes and the throat. The pollen (the allergen) causes the release of a substance known as an inflammatory mediator called histamine. It is the histamine that influences the symptoms of ‘hay fever’ in the body.
The symptoms of hay fever can often be split into two categories:
Sinus congestion, watery eyes, copious mucus, itchy nose
Red eyes, itchy eyes, inflamed nose and mucus membranes, headache
These are a reflection of our current state of health. Those of us who are more prone to mucus accumulations will tend to suffer more from runny eyes and nose. Those who perhaps have a greater tendency towards hot, irritated and itching skin conditions will suffer more from itching and red eyes, ears and throat.
Hay fever and the doshas
Since all of us have a different dosha (or mind body type) hay fever symptoms will also differ from person to person. Ayurveda also differentiates hay fever symptoms according to a person’s dominant dosha:
Since symptoms vary according to the dosha involved, following the right diet for your dosha (or dosha imbalance) can be very helpful.
Luckily, help is also at hand with some of nature’s finest remedies:
Mushroom Gold contains beta-glucans and is a great source of vitamin D, which contributes to the normal function of the immune system.
Turmeric & Ginger: Naturally hot, spicy and stimulating, these herbs either in combination or separately will stimulate the system, warm the digestion and improve nutrient assimilation. The combination of these two herbs is a specific remedy for allergic rhinitis, hay fever and colds.
Triphala: A traditional Ayurvedic formulation that is particularly effective at detoxifying and cleansing a congested digestive tract. It will often work best when taken at night.
Peppermint: An excellent herb for releasing stuck congestion and mucus around the nose and a ‘heavy head’.
Liquorice soothes the lung and throat and acts as expectorant.
Aloe vera: A natural cooling anti-inflammatory, soothing hot and irritated mucus membranes throughout the body. It’s a natural way of cleansing your liver and helping to reduce allergic response from the immune system. Organic Aloe Vera does not contain sodium benzoate, that is so often a causative factor in allergies.
Cleanse tea: a delicious blend of peppermint, nettle, fennel and aloevera – all of which can provide benefits.
Rose: Rose is a drying, cooling anti-inflammatory with an affinity for the skin and eyes. It can be taken internally as a tincture, but a spray or drop of rosewater on the face and also in the eyes can be particularly effective at relieving itching and inflammation.
Other diet and lifestyle tips to help ease hay fever symptoms
For 3-5 days drink plenty of hot water with grated fresh ginger or honey, this will help to digest toxins and regulate digestion.
Favour foods that are warm and nourishing but easy to digest such as soups, grains and leafy green vegetables.
Include helpful herbs for the digestion such as cumin, coriander, ginger and fennel.
Both vitamins C and D contribute to the normal function of the immune system, so increasing their intake can help. Good sources of vitamin C include oranges, lemons, peppers and broccoli, while good dietary sources of vitamin D include oily fish, eggs and mushrooms.
Avoid substances which are mucus producing such as dairy products, wheat and sugar.
Avoid cold foods such as salads and iced water. These reduce digestive capacity and can create stagnation.
8 Home Remedies for Allergies – Cleveland Clinic
One morning you wake up and it’s … ah… ah… ah-CHOOOO! Allergy season can hit fast and hard, with sudden fits of sneezing, a nonstop runny nose and itchy eyes leaving you feeling miserable.
For many, the path to relief begins with the rattle of a pill bottle — and that’s perfectly OK.
But there are other, more natural options that may be worth a try, says functional medicine specialist Melissa Young, MD. And most are simple solutions that don’t require the removal of a childproof cap.
“There can be an over-reliance on medications as a quick fix,” says Dr. Young. “Sometimes, you can take a different approach and get similar results.”
Natural remedies for allergies
Resolving seasonal allergies may just be a matter of finding and addressing the root cause. “It’s about getting a deeper level of understanding of why you’re having an allergic response and then taking steps to decrease or reverse symptoms,” explains Dr. Young.
But if you’re not sure of the cause — be it tree pollen, ragweed, mold or dust, etc. — what can you do to tamp down the sniffling, sneezing and wheezing that come when seasonal allergy triggers spike? Here are eight ideas you can try.
Did you know that more than 70% of your immune system resides in your gut? What you eat supports the microbiome in your belly. So, keeping that gut flora healthy can help your immune system better handle allergens.
Common food sensitivities to gluten, dairy and sugar can lead to immune system dysregulation.
“The reality is we eat a lot of junk and non-organic food grown with the application of pesticides and herbicides,” says Dr. Young. “Choosing clean, organic food can reduce toxin exposures that alter our immune system function.”
Adding probiotics to your diet is a good start. Research shows that probiotics — which are plentiful in many yogurts and fermented food such as sauerkraut and kombucha tea — can help treat hay fever (allergic rhinitis).
An elimination diet may also be helpful in identifying if certain foods cause inflammation, leading to a “leaky gut” that worsens seasonal allergy symptoms. “There can even be connections between specifics foods and pollen,” notes Dr. Young. “It’s just a matter of finding them.”
Clear the air
Filtering the air inside of your home can eliminate dander, dust and pollen particles that can make your allergies go haywire. Look for a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter, which removes about 99.97% of troublesome airborne particles.
“Putting a HEPA filter in your bedroom can make a big difference,” says Dr. Young.
Another simple step? Close windows in your home when pollen counts soar in your area. Air conditioning can help, too, by removing moisture from the air and knocking back mold and mildew growth.
Hit the showers
Make sure to get a good scrubbing in, particularly before going to sleep, in order to wash off any allergens.
“Think of the hair in your ears and your eyebrows as Q-tips that collect pollen throughout the day,” says Dr. Young. “If that hangs around while you’re in bed, it can worsen itchy eyes and nasal congestion while you’re trying to get a good night’s sleep. ”
Washing your bedding once a week in hot water can reduce your exposure to allergens such as dust, pollen and animal dander. (If you can stomach it, learn why you really need to wash your sheets regularly.)
Also, change clothes when you get home in case allergens latched onto your garments. Toss them next to the sheets in the hamper.
Saline nasal irrigation
Flushing out your sinuses with a neti pot or squeeze bottle can wash away pollen and other allergens that found their way in. Studies show the effectiveness of a good sinus rinse, too. “It really can provide a lot of relief,” says Dr. Young.
Surprised to see this on the list? Don’t be. This ancient needling practice can deliver a boost to your immune system and help combat hay fever. “There’s good research supporting the effectiveness of acupuncture for the treatment of allergies and sinus disorders,” says Dr. Young.
Vitamins and supplements
As mentioned, a healthy diet supports a strong immune system response. But it’s possible that your immune system may need an extra boost — and that’s where dietary supplements might help.
Certain vitamins and herbs also can help limit inflammation that comes with allergic responses. Dr. Young suggests looking for supplements with:
- Vitamin D.
- Vitamin C.
- Vitamin A.
- Omega-3 fatty acids.
- Stinging nettle, which is considered a natural antihistamine.
Your body just doesn’t work as effectively if it’s under stress. “Increased stress promotes allergic disease,” adds Dr. Young. Taking a few meditative minutes could help you keep things under control.
Do natural allergy cures really work?
For some people, yes. “We’ve seen huge reductions in allergy symptoms for some when they embrace making these sort of changes and just run with it,” says Dr. Young. “There have been really nice results.”
But treat the above recommendations as more of a potential starting point for dealing with allergies, not the be-all and end-all for treatment. They’re also not a substitute for medical care during a severe reaction.
“There are people who benefit from medications. That’s why they’re available,” says Dr. Young.
But if you’re looking for an alternative to day-to-day allergy maintenance, it’s important to know there might be simple solutions aside from medications. “These approaches can help,” Dr. Young assures. “It’s just a matter of giving them a try.”
Pollinosis (hay fever) – symptoms and treatment of allergy to flowering
Any allergy is based on a special mechanism – an atopic reaction, or atopy. This is the tendency of the body to react hostilely to proteins (allergens) that are relatively harmless to humans.
One of the manifestations of allergy is rhinitis (runny nose). It develops when allergen particles get on the nasal mucosa. Quite often, inflammation also spreads to the eyes – in this case, they talk about allergic rhinoconjunctivitis .
In general, allergic rhinitis is often combined with other types of allergies, such as bronchial asthma and atopic dermatitis, forming the so-called atopic triad.
With asthma due to contact with an allergen, edema develops and spasm of the bronchi occurs – the airways through which oxygen enters the lungs. During an asthmatic attack, it becomes difficult for a person to breathe and without medication, he can die.
Atopic dermatitis Allergic skin reaction. Its main symptoms are redness, itching, burning, drying and cracking of the skin. Dermatitis can significantly affect a person’s appearance and cause severe discomfort.
According to WHO, 40% of patients with allergic rhinitis have asthma and 90% of patients with asthma have allergic rhinitis.
What is pollinosis
Pollinosis (from the English pollen – “pollen”), or seasonal allergic rhinitis (rhinoconjunctivitis), doctors call allergy to pollen of wind-pollinated plants Wind pollinated plants : birch, poplar, alder, ash, oak, linden, rye, wheat, oats, barley, timothy grass, elm, wormwood, ragweed, quinoa. the outdated assumption that grass cuttings and hay cause an allergic reaction.
Pollinosis is characterized by all the properties of an allergic disease: it occurs upon direct contact with an irritant (pollen) and can cause other types of allergies. In addition, hay fever creates the risk of developing cross-food allergies, when a person with pollen intolerance becomes overly sensitive to certain vegetables, fruits, nuts and berries. This is due to the fact that certain allergenic proteins in their composition are similar. For this reason, for example, people allergic to birch pollen often have a reaction to apples, pears, soybeans, carrots, hazelnuts, or peanuts.
As a rule, signs of pollinosis appear only during the flowering period of wind-pollinated plants. It begins with warming: in late April and May, trees bloom in temperate latitudes, from late May to July, cereal plants, and from July to September, weeds.
The duration of pollinosis depends on which plants a person has a reaction to. If you are allergic to only one type of pollen, the symptoms last for several days. In the worst case – with sensitivity to several types of plants at once – hay fever can persist throughout the warm season, from spring to autumn.
Prevalence of hay fever
Allergy is one of the most common diseases of the XXI century. According to the World Health Organization, the number of people with relevant diagnoses is growing every year.
In general, hypersensitivity (sensitization) to any allergens is observed in 40% of people worldwide. At the same time, from 10 to 30% of people suffer from allergic rhinitis.
The prevalence of allergy specifically to pollen depends on the region and on the number of plants that are part of the local flora. For example, according to the World Allergy Organization, approximately 12.3% of the population in Northern and Eastern Europe has pollinosis, and more than 21% in Western Europe. The highest rates are in North America and in the countries of Oceania: more than 33% and almost 40% of people, respectively, suffer from pollinosis there.
Hay fever in ICD-10
According to the International Classification of Diseases of the 10th revision, hay fever is assigned the code J30.1 – “Allergic rhinitis caused by plant pollen.”
Causes of hay fever
The main cause of hay fever is the body’s reaction to contact with pollen.
Pollen is a powdery substance consisting of male germ cells of various plants. About 150 wind-pollinated trees, cereals and grasses are known, the pollen of which can cause allergies.
Pollen is scattered along with wind currents and can travel hundreds of kilometers from its source. During the flowering period, it is constantly in the air, settles on asphalt, cars, animal hair, clothes and people’s hair. If windows are open in the room, pollen can end up on curtains, as well as on any surfaces – on the floor, window sill and furniture.
As soon as the pollen gets on the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose and mouth of a person predisposed to hay fever, he develops an allergy and the first symptoms of the disease appear.
Ragweed is a dangerous plant that often causes hay fever
Hay fever mechanism
To protect the body, the immune system produces antibodies. These are special proteins that can recognize, remember and destroy pathogens. When antibodies encounter a pathogen in the body, they provoke a whole cascade of biological processes – an immune reaction, during which the “intruders” must die.
Sometimes the immune system fails and, after the first contact with harmless proteins, “puts them on the list” of pathogens (allergens). This process is called sensitization – an increase in sensitivity to a protein that becomes an allergen. The exact reason why sensitization occurs has not yet been established. However, it is precisely because of it that the first antibodies responsible for allergies begin to be synthesized – immunoglobulins of the IgE class.
Upon subsequent contact with the allergen (in the case of hay fever, with pollen), immunity is activated and begins to actively release immunoglobulins into the blood. They react to an allergen and stimulate the production of special substances – mediators responsible for an immediate allergic reaction.
Allergy mediators make blood vessels more permeable, slow blood flow in capillaries, provoke inflammation of the mucous membranes, and in some cases cause spasms in the bronchi. All these processes lead to the appearance of typical allergy symptoms: edema, inflammation of the mucous membranes.
Factors affecting the development of hay fever
The exact cause of sensitization to allergens is still under investigation. However, experts identify a number of factors that may increase the risk of hay fever with some probability.
Factors that may influence the development of hay fever:
- genetics. According to some data, a predisposition to allergies can be inherited from parents to children. It is believed that there are a number of genes that determine the functioning of the immune system and may be responsible for the development of hay fever. However, they have not yet been identified;
- active and passive smoking. Inhalation of tobacco smoke irritates the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract, which can cause sensitization or increase the symptoms of hay fever;
- ecology. Industrial gases and fumes that a person inhales negatively affect the mucous membranes of the nose, bronchi and lungs;
- climate. In temperate and warm latitudes, more wind-pollinated plants grow. In addition, global warming increases the duration and intensity of flowering, which increases the risk of sensitization;
- standard of living and living conditions. Some researchers believe that exhaust fumes, as well as heating, air conditioning and high levels of indoor humidity, may be the cause of increased sensitivity to allergens. In support of this theory, a study was conducted that found that among children living in poor conditions, allergic rhinitis occurs almost twice as often as among children with a higher standard of living.
Types of hay fever
There is no generally accepted classification of types of hay fever. However, different types of allergic rhinitis have been identified – this is a broader concept that includes hay fever. Allergic rhinitis is distinguished by the course, severity and stage of the disease.
- intermittent – allergy symptoms bother a person less than 4 days a week or less than 4 weeks a year;
- persistent – symptoms are present for more than 4 days per week or more than 4 weeks per year.
- mild – allergy symptoms are mild. They do not affect the daily life of a person and his well-being. Minor rhinitis (runny nose) may be present, rarely sneezing;
- medium degree – rhinitis is accompanied by nasal congestion, mucus secretion, sneezing. Conjunctivitis, an inflammation of the mucous membrane of the eye, may appear. Allergy symptoms prevent a person from leading a daily life, studying, working and sleeping;
- severe – symptoms greatly affect a person’s quality of life. Without treatment, he is unable to work and study, there are problems with sleep, sometimes he stops breathing during sleep. Constant itching in the nose and eyes makes a person irritable and can affect his mental state.
By disease stage:
- exacerbation – symptoms caused by contact with an allergen cause discomfort to the patient;
- remission – allergy symptoms temporarily do not appear due to the absence of an allergen or successful symptomatic therapy.
According to the period of exacerbation:
Symptoms of hay fever
Symptoms of pollinosis occur only after contact of the mucous membranes with the pollen of wind-pollinated plants. The duration and severity of symptoms depends on the number of allergy sources and the concentration of allergens.
Main symptoms of hay fever:
- nasal congestion;
- rhinorrhea – a large amount of watery discharge from the nose;
- sneezing – often paroxysmal, occurring spontaneously;
- occurrence of snoring;
- severe itching in the nose or nasopharynx;
- itching of the tip of the nose;
- “allergic salute” – a characteristic way of scratching the nose with the palm from the bottom up, which leads to the formation of a transverse nasal wrinkle;
- violation of the sense of smell – up to its complete absence;
- swelling and redness of the nose and eyelids;
- redness of the whites of the eyes, increased tearing;
- cough, sometimes sore throat;
- sleep disorders – frequent awakenings, prolonged falling asleep;
- decrease in overall activity and performance – weakness, fatigue, daytime sleepiness.
Patients during an exacerbation of pollinosis are characterized by increased nervousness and frequent mood swings – they are associated with poor health, sleep disturbance and annoying symptoms.
Itchy nose and sneezing are common symptoms of hay fever
Complications of hay fever
If pollinosis is not diagnosed in a timely manner, and its causes are not known and not treated, it can be complicated by bronchial asthma . According to WHO, 40% of patients with allergic rhinitis have it.
An asthma attack leads to spasm, swelling and narrowing of the lumen of the bronchi – the airways through which air enters the lungs. Because of this, the main symptoms appear – dry cough, shortness of breath and wheezing in the chest on inhalation and exhalation. A person during an attack cannot breathe normally if he does not take medicine. In severe cases, the level of oxygen in the blood decreases and the skin of the red border of the lips, the tip of the nose and fingers turns blue.
Without treatment, seizures can occur not only after contact with an allergen, but also spontaneously: for example, after physical exertion, emotional overstrain, or due to strong odors.
Also hay fever can cause allergic sinusitis . This is inflammation and swelling of the mucous membrane or epithelium of the sinuses.
If mucus lingers in the sinuses due to swelling, there is pain and a feeling of fullness in the nose, in the area under the eyes or above the bridge of the nose. Sometimes an infection joins allergic sinusitis, which aggravates the symptoms and course of the disease.
In some cases, with prolonged allergies and constant irritation of the mucous membranes in the sinuses, polyps are formed – benign neoplasms consisting of epithelial tissue.
In addition to the respiratory tract, hay fever can cause inflammation of the middle or inner ear ( otitis media ) or the Eustachian tube ( eustachitis ), which communicates with the nasopharynx.
Otitis and eustachitis lead to pain, swelling and a feeling of fullness in the ears, as well as hearing loss.
Another dangerous allergic complication of hay fever is Quincke’s edema . With such a pathology, tissues of different localization can strongly swell: lips, eyelids, cheeks, tongue or mucous membrane of the mouth and pharynx, and sometimes all together. In severe cases, edema leads to squeezing of the larynx and does not allow a person to breathe. This condition requires emergency medical attention.
Breath holding during sleep for more than 10 seconds – sleep apnea – occur in some patients during an exacerbation of hay fever. Pathology occurs due to edema: the lumen of the nasopharynx narrows, which leads to impaired air permeability.
Most often, breath holding occurs in the supine position. In severe cases, sleep apnea occurs in any position during sleep and can last up to 3 minutes. The frequency of delays can vary from single episodes to dozens per night. Pathology poses a threat to life, since a person literally suffocates during an attack and does not notice this because of sleep.
In a severe course of the disease, oxygen starvation develops, which leads to cell damage in all organs and affects the brain.
Diagnosis of hay fever
An allergist deals with the diagnosis of hay fever.
There are many methods for detecting pollen allergy, but all of them are necessary for making a diagnosis, clarifying the source of the allergy and the specific protein that causes the reaction. In addition, a detailed diagnosis allows you to identify cross-allergy or predict the risk of its development.
During the examination, pollen allergy is not detected immediately, the diagnosis is made in stages. First, it is important for a doctor to distinguish pollinosis from infectious diseases, and then to identify the exact source of the allergy and the allergen itself.
The diagnosis of hay fever is made on the basis of the patient’s history and complaints, as well as the results of the examination, instrumental examination and a set of laboratory tests and tests.
Complaints and anamnesis
First of all, the doctor will take an anamnesis: ask the patient or his parents (if the patient is a child) about chronic and previous diseases, cases of allergies in the family – if any, specify what exactly and how they manifest themselves.
The specialist will then ask you to describe your symptoms. Tell about their duration, strength, frequency of manifestation.
It is also important to tell your doctor if your symptoms change if your allergy worsens (or worsens) under certain conditions, season or location. For example, during summer trips to the sea, some patients are less worried about allergies than in the region of residence.
Typical symptoms for the preliminary diagnosis of allergic rhinitis are congestion (runny nose), active secretion of mucus, sneezing or itching in the nasal cavity that manifests itself for more than an hour. As a rule, the presence of all signs at once is not necessary – only two are enough.
Most often, patients complain of difficulty breathing through the nose and a large amount of mucus (snot). Conjunctivitis may also be present – swelling of the eyelids, itching and redness of the eyes, increased tearing. These signs indicate the development of allergic rhinoconjunctivitis, a common form of hay fever.
Pollinosis may cause conjunctivitis. It is manifested by swelling of the eyelids, itching and redness of the eyes, increased tearing
In addition to allergic symptoms, the patient may complain of headache and general poor health – weakness, malaise, sleep disturbance. Sometimes there is a sore throat, pain in the ears, a decrease in the sharpness of smell.
After collecting an anamnesis and complaints, the doctor will examine the patient. First of all, he will note the external signs of rhinitis: inflammation and swelling of the mucous membranes, sneezing, and redness of the wings of the nose. If, with difficulty in nasal breathing, the patient breathes through the mouth, the doctor will also notice this.
In case of allergic rhinoconjunctivitis, the specialist will also examine the eyes: the eyelids may be swollen, and the conjunctiva may be reddened.
If allergic rhinitis is suspected, patients may be prescribed rhinoscopy – examination of the nasal cavity using a special mirror. The procedure will allow the doctor to assess the condition of the nasal mucosa, identify growth (polyps), inflammation and swelling, and determine its degree.
If allergic rhinitis is severe, patients undergo an endoscopic examination of the nasal cavity using a special device. This allows you to better examine the mucous membranes, check the sinuses and identify possible anatomical abnormalities.
Nasal endoscopy is performed using an endoscope, a device with a lens or camera that allows you to view the inside of the nasal cavity
In the case of a bacterial infection attached to allergic rhinitis, an X-ray of the sinuses is recommended – it will reveal purulent complications.
Complaints of coughing, wheezing and wheezing in the chest, as well as difficulty in inhaling and exhaling – an indication for the study of the functions of external respiration, for example, spirometry. The test evaluates the ventilation capacity of the lungs, determines the volume of inhaled and exhaled air – this allows diagnosing impaired patency of the lower respiratory tract and bronchi, as well as suggesting bronchial asthma.
If hay fever is suspected, the doctor will refer the patient for tests. They will help assess the general condition of the body, as well as distinguish an allergic reaction from a bacterial or viral infection of the respiratory tract – an acute respiratory disease (ARI).
First of all, a detailed clinical blood test is prescribed. Its results will show possible inflammation and its severity, and markers of bacterial inflammation – leukocytes – will confirm or exclude acute respiratory infections.
Also, with allergies, the concentration of eosinophils increases. This is a special type of white blood cells that can also be produced in other pathologies (for example, in parasitic and autoimmune diseases). However, with characteristic symptoms, a high eosinophil count is one of the markers of an allergic reaction.
Clinical blood test with leukocyte formula and ESR (with microscopy of a blood smear in case of pathological changes) (venous blood)
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For further diagnosis of allergic rhinosinusitis, patients are prescribed an analysis of nasal mucous membranes for eosinophils. These are special cells that are responsible for the formation of an allergic reaction.
An increase in eosinophil levels may indicate an exacerbation of allergies, but is not considered a clear indicator. This is due to the fact that other disorders also affect eosinophils – for example, parasitic and fungal infections.
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In some cases, experts recommend taking an analysis for the determination of IgE immunoglobulins in the blood. However, an increase in the level of antibodies does not always indicate an allergic reaction – this is important to consider when interpreting the results of the study.
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Skin tests are relatively accurate in identifying the source of an allergy. This method consists in applying to the skin or introducing it under it (through a scratch or puncture) of alleged allergens.
The disadvantage of skin tests is that they can not be carried out by everyone and not always. So, the study is not performed during the period of exacerbation of an allergic reaction, as well as within a month after it.
Also, the patient should not take antihistamines and any other drugs for allergies – this may distort the result of the analysis.
In addition, skin testing is not performed in children under 3 years of age and in patients with a history of severe allergic reactions. For example, with Quincke’s edema or anaphylactic shock – a sharp drop in pressure due to the body’s reaction to an allergen. It can be life threatening.
A more accurate way to determine the allergen is to test venous blood for the presence of specific IgE antibodies. As a result of the analysis, the amount of immunoglobulins to certain substances will be indicated.
The advantage of such studies is that they are complex and do not require any manipulation of the skin – only one puncture for blood sampling. And since allergens are not introduced into the body during the study, there is no risk of developing an allergic reaction.
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There are also more advanced and detailed studies – they are called allergy chips. The test requires a small amount of blood. According to it, in laboratory conditions, it is possible to detect a reaction to more than 300 different allergenic components, namely, to individual proteins in the composition of the allergy source.
The test can be performed on both adults and children – there is a capillary blood sampling option that is suitable even for infants.
The study allows you to accurately identify allergens, as well as predict cross-allergic reactions. The results of such a test are required for some treatments for hay fever.
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Treatment of hay fever
Pollinosis is a chronic disease, it cannot be completely cured. All types of therapy are aimed only at controlling allergy symptoms and reducing the body’s response to an irritant.
Therapy of hay fever has a stepwise character. First of all, the doctor may prescribe antihistamines. They relieve the symptoms of rhinitis: relieve itching in the nose, reduce inflammation and swelling.
Some antihistamines have a sedative (hypnotic) effect, but their properties, such as a drying effect, may be needed in some cases. If the side effect of such allergy medications is incompatible with lifestyle, another method of treatment should be discussed with the doctor, and he will select new generation medications – without sleeping pills.
For patients with moderate to severe hay fever, antihistamine and hormonal (corticosteroid) nasal sprays are recommended to relieve allergy symptoms. They are prescribed both together with tablets and separately. If conjunctivitis develops against the background of an allergy, the doctor will prescribe eye drops that relieve inflammation and itching.
Leukotriene receptor antagonists are another category of drugs that suppress inflammation in the mucous membranes of the nose and bronchi. They are used both separately and as part of complex therapy.
Vasoconstrictor sprays are prescribed if the patient cannot breathe through the nose even while taking antiallergic drugs. They should be used strictly according to the instructions (usually up to 7 days), as addiction is possible: a gradual weakening of the effect, dryness and atrophy of the nasal mucosa.
Systemic glucocorticoids (hormonal drugs) are given when other drugs have failed.
In the period of hay fever remission, a specialist may recommend allergen-specific immune therapy (ASIT). This method of treatment can save the patient from the unpleasant symptoms of pollen allergy for several years, but requires careful preliminary diagnosis and determination of a specific allergen protein. For this purpose, the doctor may prescribe, for example, an ALEX 2 allergy chip.
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If the patient has pathologies associated with a violation of the structure of the nasal cavity that make it difficult to breathe during an exacerbation of hay fever (for example, a deviated nasal septum), surgery may be required.
When the nasal septum is deviated, drugs do not always relieve allergic edema. In this case, surgery is needed (straight and deviated nasal septum)
If allergic rhinitis is combined with bronchial asthma, therapy is supplemented with a leukotriene receptor antagonist, which prevents spasms in the bronchi.
In case of severe allergic rhinitis and insufficient effectiveness of all the above stages of therapy, the doctor may prescribe a drug that reduces the concentration of IgE immunoglobulins.
Prognosis and prevention
There is no specific prevention of hay fever. However, it is possible to prevent the development of a severe form of the disease and complications. First of all, you should consult a doctor – he will help identify the allergen, make a diet to exclude cross-reaction, and also select drug therapy.
Since it is difficult to completely avoid contact with pollen, patients with hay fever are advised to monitor the flowering period of the allergen plant – for this, there are special calendars and pollination monitoring services on the Internet. Before flowering, you should purchase the preparations recommended by the doctor in advance, as well as respiratory protection equipment – masks or respirators.
During the spread of pollen, it is recommended to open windows less often, ventilate the room only in humid, rainy weather or at night, when there is less pollen in the air.
You should also take a shower, wash your hair and wash your outerwear after each exit to the street: pollen particles can settle on hair, skin and textiles.
Daily wet cleaning will help reduce the amount of allergens in your home. Additionally, you can buy an air purifier – it filters out dust and pollen, minimizing any contact with it in the room.
In case of cross-allergy, you should carefully monitor the diet, do not eat allergenic vegetables and fruits.
- Pawankar R., Canonica G. W., Holgate S. T., Lockey R. F. WAO White Book on Allergy 2011-2012 Executive Summary. 2011.
- Goryachkina L. A., Terekhova E. P., Sebekina O. V. Clinical Allergology. Selected lectures. Practical recommendations. M., 2017.
- Allergic rhinitis: clinical guidelines / Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation. 2020.
- Allergology and immunology: national guidelines / ed. R. M. Khaitova, N. I. Ilyina. M., 2009.
- Brozek J. L., Bousquet J., Baena-Cagnani C. E., et al. Allergic Rhinitis and its Impact on Asthma (ARIA) guidelines: 2017 revision // J Allergy Clin Immunol, 2017. Vol. 140(4). P. 950–958. doi:10/1016/j/jaci.2017.03.050
Foods that can affect allergies
A balanced diet is important for everyone, whether a person has food allergies or not. Maintain the correct proportions of different food groups to maintain overall body health. 10
To eat healthy and properly, you need: 10
- Eat at least 5 servings of fresh fruits or vegetables every day.
- Use fiber-rich carbohydrates such as potatoes, bread, rice, pasta.
- Consume dairy products or their equivalents (eg soy milk).
- Eat more protein, such as beans, fish, eggs, meat and other foods.
- Choose unsaturated fats and eat them in small amounts.
- Drink plenty of fluids (6-8 glasses per day).
If you regularly eat a lot of fatty, salty and sweet foods, try to reduce portions and eat these foods less frequently.
Try to combine different food groups to get different nutrients.
- Fruits and vegetables
- Milk or equivalent
- Fats and oils, in small quantities
What foods can relieve the symptoms of hay fever?
There is no direct relationship between food and allergy symptoms, but you can try adding foods to your diet that reduce inflammation and strengthen your immune system.
Ginger: Many unpleasant allergy symptoms are caused by inflammation – swelling and irritation in the nose, eyes, throat. Ginger can help alleviate these symptoms naturally as it contains anti-inflammatory agents.
Bee Pollen: A mixture of enzymes, nectar, honey, pollen and wax is often sold as a remedy for hay fever. Research suggests that bee pollen may have anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties.
Citrus fruits: Vitamin C helps prevent colds or shorten the duration of illness, so it can also help allergy sufferers. There are observations that foods high in vitamin C alleviate the symptoms of hay fever. 12
Tomatoes: Tomatoes are also high in vitamin C. They also contain lycopene, an antioxidant that helps fight inflammation.
Turmeric: Turmeric is well known for its anti-inflammatory properties, although its effect on seasonal allergies in humans has not been studied. The active ingredient, curcumin, reduces the symptoms of many diseases caused by inflammation and may help minimize swelling and irritation caused by hay fever.
Oily fish such as salmon: There is some evidence that omega-3 fatty acids from fish can increase resistance to allergies. Studies have shown that fatty acids help reduce airway constriction that occurs with asthma and some cases of seasonal allergies. 13
Onion: An excellent natural source of quercetin, a bioflavonoid that is also sold as a dietary supplement. Some studies show that quercetin acts as a natural antihistamine, reducing seasonal allergy symptoms.