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Hayfever and allergies

Hayfever is one of those conditions that if you’ve never experienced it you cannot imagine how debilitating it can be. The most appropriate first step is to ascertain why a person’s immune system has been aggravated. Hayfever is typically an acute inflammatory response to an allergen so identifying what has caused the reaction is the primary treatment objective.

Allergic rhinitis is an allergic reaction triggered by pollen, mould, animal dander, dust and other similar inhaled allergens. Environmental chemicals within buildings can induce lethargy, headache, and blocked or runny nose as well as symptoms of chronic sinusitis. Particulate matter in polluted air and chemicals such as chlorine and detergents, which can normally be tolerated, can greatly aggravate the condition.

When you consider allergy treatment, the naturopathic interpretation acknowledges the impact of everything a person is exposed. Common allergy triggers include carpet in the bedroom (especially old, mouldy types); old curtains or blinds that are covered in dust; synthetic bedding that has attracted dust and mould spores commonly seen between the mattress and base, on blinds or in crevices of the room. Other considerations acknowledge diet – as a general rule whatever a person craves excessively or eats in excess may be a culprit. This may include dairy products, wheat, citrus fruits, eggs, soy or other foods. If the person has an intolerance (or allergy) to a food it will promote the inflammatory cycle and thus perpetuate hayfever. Blatant nutrient deficiencies are other common causes. Vitamin C deficiency is commonly seen as lowered immune function and high allergic response. Vitamin C is a potent natural anti-histamine and works brilliantly especially when combined with herbal medicines such as Baical Skullcap or Eyebright.