Its Spring-time!!! Yay!!! Any other time it would be a joyous occasion but the year 2020 has brought much distress with it.
Many many persons suffer with seasonal allergies. I am not one of those . But my eldest son is.
I recall when he was in grade school, grade-1 I think, I was called to the school after a visit to a petting farm and I could not recognize him. His face was so swollen, I did not know who he was if not for him calling me “mom”!
Each year the joy of spring brings with it a lot of discomfort for him. I spent much of his younger years managing those allergies for him but in the past 3 years or so he has taken the reins himself and has come up with herbal medicines that works for him.
Seasonal allergies aka allergic rhinitis or hay fever. So called hay fever based on past, hay cutting practices that were prevalent in the summer months, coinciding with the time-frame many people experienced these allergy symptoms.
- Approximately 7.8% of the US population over the age of 18 years old suffer with hay fever.
- A 2010 US study found white children (10%) were more likely to suffer from hay fever than blacks (7%),
- Hay fever afflicts approximately 10% to 30% of the world’s population.
- Antibodies are present in up to 40% of the world’s population.
These are huge numbers, many persons are afflicted in varying degrees of severity. Some mildly with some runny nose and the sniffles, some with copious watery eyes and others with symptoms so severe they cannot perform their activities of daily living to numerous visits to emergency rooms.
Seasonal Allergies aka Allergic Rhinitis
Allergies are classified as our body’s reaction to a foreign substance. Our immune system is designed to detect, engulf and kill off the offensive agent deemed unnatural to our state of homeostasis.
Once you are exposed to an allergen, your immune system initiates a search and destroy process using an inflammatory response.
This inflammatory response can inflame your skin, sinuses, digestive system or airways.
Allergens are harmless everyday substances that we all come in contact with, but for allergy sufferers, these everyday things can prove to be very uncomfortable and even deadly.
Allergic reactions can run the gamut from very mild to life-threatening or an anaphylaxis reaction in which you enter into respiratory failure.
Examples of allergens:
- Insect venom
- Pet dander
- Dust mites
- Any other substances
Your immune system produces substances known as antibodies. When we become exposed to allergens, our immune system usually creates antibodies that identify that particular allergen as harmful.
If you have a sensitivity or allergy to pet dander for example and you are inadvertently exposed to said pet dander, your immune system identifies that agent as a trigger and the inflammatory response is initiated.
Your immune system then releases histamines which are then carried by the circulatory system consisting of blood and lymph to trap, kill and remove the invader/s.
This sudden increase in chemicals will typically cause symptoms in the nose, throat, eyes, ears, skin or roof of the mouth.
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Watery eyes
- Headache (sinus headache)
- Sore/ scratchy throat
- Incessant sneezing
- Coughing and/or wheezing
- Fullness in ears
- Feeling unwell
The severity to allergens varies from person to person and can range from minor irritation to anaphylaxis — a potentially life-threatening emergency. While most allergies cannot be cured, treatments can help relieve your response to the allergens.
If you are prone anaphylaxis, you should already be equipped with an epinephrine auto-injector (EpiPen®, Auvi-Q® and Adrenaclick) if not speak to your care provider as soon as possible.
If you are a person who is diagnosed with asthma you may have a more exaggerated reaction to allergens, which can then trigger an asthma exacerbation.
Over the counter as well as prescription medications can help. Just to name a few:
You may see an allergist/immunologist for a more in depth assessment and management.
You could attempt to reduce exposure to triggering allergens, this is not always possible. So here are some tips on how to manage at home.
For sensitivity to pollen, grasses, trees try to limit outdoor activities during peak seasons, close windows and doors while at home or driving.
Use filters in your A.C and change those regularly according to manufacturers guidelines.
- Wash your bedding regularly with hot water (130°F) to kill mites.
- Use an exhaust fan in kitchen, keep surfaces dry to prevent mold.
- Avoid dust-collecting items and clean regularly.
- Cover your nose and mouth when you clean/dust and visit dense allergen areas.
- Clean, vacuum and mop regularly.
- Use common sense precaution.
Black Seed Oil for Allergic Rhinitis:
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My son has been using black seed oil for seasonal allergies for a few years now and so he no longer uses any other medications to manage the symptoms.
He swears by this product and was the one to actually suggest I write this post about allergies.
The healing properties of black seed oil (N. sativa) has been long used by varying cultures for a myriad of ailments. It has and is being studied extensively and is quietly taking its place among the “heavy hitters” in medicine today.
See excerpt from the National Center for Biotechnology Information below.
“Due to its miraculous power of healing, N. sativa has got the place among the top ranked evidence based herbal medicines. This is also revealed that most of the therapeutic properties of this plant are due to the presence of thymoquinone which is major bioactive component of the essential oil. “
Research is ongoing with suggestions that black cumin seeds may help control high blood pressure, allergies, asthma, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis and so much more.
Seasonal allergies can be quite debilitating to some and severely interferes with their ability to work, to enjoy life and to be outdoors. Even with the use of medication there is often no significant relief and several of these medications cause drowsiness as a side effect. See your healthcare provider and together find a regimen that works for you. Be aware of your triggers and make every attempt to avoid them if at all necessary, covering your nose and mouth when you are outside or in the presence of any allergens. Try natural remedies. Ensure you clean your windows and turn on your air condition. You may also flush your nose out with salt water nose rinse. Lastly, if all else fails give immunotherapy a try.
As always, take care, be well, be safe.
God bless you.