There were 19.2 million American adults diagnosed with hay fever in 2018. Also known as allergic rhinitis, this condition is as common as allergies because that’s what hay fever is. Essentially, you can think of this medical condition as an intense allergic reaction. This condition can often mimic many symptoms of a fever, hence the name. So, what should you do if you have hay fever?
What Helps Manage Hay Fever?
Taking care of hay fever is all about treating your underlying allergies. You can take care of the symptoms, work with a doctor to overcome your reactions, or just avoid them all together. At the end of the day, there are many different potential treatments for hay fever.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common ways people handle allergic rhinitis…
13. Use Intranasal Corticosteroids
Scientific name aside, this treatment couldn’t be simpler. Better yet, this medication is one of the most effective treatments for hay fever. Your doctor can help you find an intranasal corticosteroid that is right for you.
Why Intranasal Corticosteroids Help
Intranasal corticosteroids can make your seasonal hay fever much easier to manage. Specifically, they can reduce sneezing, congestion, and runny nose symptoms. While this won’t cure you, it will make allergy season much more bearable.
Since hay fever is just an intense bout of allergic reactions, antihistamines are another potential treatment…
12. Try Antihistamines
You can take this kind of medicine in eye drops, nasal sprays, or through oral medications. Antihistamines are the classic treatment for mild allergic reactions. It all comes down to understanding how allergies work.
Why Antihistamines Help
When an allergic reaction starts, your body releases chemicals known as histamines. These are the irritants that are responsible for all that coughing, congestion, and other symptoms. Antihistamines block these chemicals and prevent them from disrupting your day.
Antihistamines aren’t a perfect solution as they can lose effectiveness over time or as your allergies change. In such cases, the following can help…
11. Grab Some Decongestants
Whether you are down with the flu or just allergies, decongestants can help you get some relief. These medications produce effects similar to antihistamines, although they work differently.
Why Decongestants Help
Decongestants get rid of the same congestion, runny nose, and related symptoms as histamines, but they take a different route to get there. Rather than going after the allergic response, these medicines go after the symptoms themselves. This can be especially helpful for people who have a negative reaction to antihistamines.
If you are looking for a non-medicated way to treat your symptoms, you can turn to saline nasal sprays…
10. Try Saline Nasal Sprays
Saline solutions are essentially salt water. For people sensitive to some of the more common medications for hay fever, a nasal spray can help. Some doctors recommend cleaning out the nasal passageways to mitigate the worst of hay fever symptoms.
Why Saline Nasal Sprays Help
Saline nasal sprays introduce a mist of sanitized water into the nasal cavities. This can help to clear the sinuses of allergens as well as mucus and related irritants. These sprays typically contain no medications, so they can be used as needed. There are certain medications and conditions they shouldn’t be combined with, so make sure to consult your doctor before trying this treatment out.
There are other medications you can try that block your allergies from triggering in the first place…
9. Leukotriene Pathway Inhibitors
Leukotriene pathway inhibitors are a class of medications that are often used to treat asthma and other related conditions. These medicines have also been used to treat hay fever, although they can have behavioral side effects.
Why Leukotriene Pathway Inhibitors Help
These medicines work by stopping the action of leukotriene, which is one of the chemicals responsible for the allergic response that causes hay fever. Much like antihistamines, this medicine tends to have notable side effects in some people and is often avoided for that reason unless other options don’t work.
If you need quick over-the-counter relief, you can always turn to eye drops…
8. Use Eye Drops
Eye drops are a classic treatment for just about every form of eye irritation out there. These can either be medicated or simple water-based solutions, all designed to clean the eye and provide some relief from puffiness, redness, and itchiness.
Why Eye Drops Help
Medicated eye drops can deliver needed medicines right to the eye. This can be beneficial if your hay fever has particularly harsh swelling or watery eyes. Non-medicated eye drops can help to rinse allergens from the eye as well as provide some basic relief.
If these medications don’t work out for your particular condition, you can try the following…
Immunotherapy is a treatment that can modify your immune system. This can be an ideal treatment for people with serious allergic responses or people who can’t rely on medications to manage their hay fever.
Why Immunotherapy Helps
Immunotherapy comes in many varieties, but one of the most common is done through a series of injections. These allergy shots introduce minimal amounts of allergens into the body in an effort to build up a natural immunity. Over time, the immune system will become used to the presence of these particles and will stop triggering a hay fever when they appear.
A more simple step you can take to combat some symptoms of hay fever is to simply wear your glasses…
6. Wear Glasses
That’s right. If you want to hedge your bets against hay fever, you can simply put on your glasses. This is a simple and surprising trick that can make a noticeable difference.
Why Wearing Your Glasses Helps
So, why does this work? Quite simply, your contacts can be trapping allergens next to the surface of the eye, which could be making your hay fever worse. Glasses won’t trap allergens in the same way. Further, glasses also make it easier to clean out your eyes and administer eye drops.
There are some other, sweeter tips and tricks that can get you around your hay fever…
5. Try Local Honey
Honey comes with many health benefits. Not only does honey not spoil, but it is a healthy alternative to sugar, candy, and a great snack in its own right. Honey can even have a positive impact on your hay fever.
Why Local Honey Helps
There is some research to suggest that consuming local honey can help improve your hay fever. Specifically, local honey is infused with potential allergens causing your hay fever. The bees that make the honey feed off of local flowers, and in turn pass those potential allergens onto you. In short, some research suggests that eating local honey functions similarly to immunotherapy, which introduces some allergens to your immune system to build immunity.
You can also take a tried-and-true approach to treating hay fever…
4. Drink Some Tea
Hay fever operates like many colds and infections. Sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is to drink some tea.
Why Tea Helps
Tea can improve your hay fever in a few ways. Firstly, tea can soothe the throat, which might become sore after all that coughing. Secondly, the steam rising up from your cup of tea also helps to relieve congestion. Thirdly, tea can also contain herbs that reduce inflammation and help ease the agitation that hay fever brings.
You can also take steps to protect your home from potential allergens…
3. Clean and Dust
Your home could do with a good cleaning; this is especially true if you want to lower your risk of hay fever. Homes build up dust and other potential allergens that are just waiting to trigger your allergies.
Why Cleaning Helps
Cleaning and dusting helps to reduce the places in your home that allergens can build up. This also lowers the total amount of allergens in your home. If you’ve ever started sneezing after cleaning, it might be a sign that you are going too long between cleanings and that your home is building up allergens.
You can even prevent allergens from entering your home in the first place with some good filters…
2. Buy Some Quality Air Filters
High-quality air filters can protect your home from allergens. These can be fitted to heating and air conditioning systems. They can even be added to windows if you want full hay fever protection.
Why Filters Help
High-quality air filters are designed to prevent allergens from entering ventilation systems. Making sure your air conditioning system has updated filters can therefore go a long way to improving your hay fever. You can also make sure your vehicle has clean air filters to ensure a sneeze-free allergy season.
The best treatment of all is the following…
1. Avoid Your Known Allergens
The easiest way to manage your hay fever is to never get it in the first place. Unlike the common cold or the flu, you can actually just skip getting hay fever much of the time.
Why Avoiding Allergens Helps
If you know what triggers your allergic response, you can easily skip allergy season next year. This includes hay fever. Things like staying indoors, tracking pollen count, and knowing the habitats of plants that trigger your allergies can help. You can work with your doctor to pin down the specifics of your allergies.
Hay fever can be easily treated with a range of medicines and home remedies. If you are still struggling with your hay fever, there are steps you can take to find relief.
What to Do Next
Hay fever is extremely common. The best way to beat this seasonal allergic reaction is to dodge your allergens all together. If you can’t avoid your allergic triggers, there are plenty of ways you can lower the severity of your allergic rhinitis. A doctor can help you become desensitized to your allergens as well as conduct tests designed to help you figure out just what, exactly, is triggering your hay fever. With a little help, you’ll have all that sneezing under control in no time.