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Hay fever

What is hay fever?

Most likely you or someone you know has allergies. Severe itching of the nose, tearing, swelling and redness, nasal congestion appear with the change of seasons in those affected.

What these people suffer from is allergic rhinitis or hay fever. The medical name means stuffy and itchy nose – the most common symptom.

Hay fever is an allergic reaction. It is a response of the immune system to a foreign substance in the air we breathe. Hay fever is usually caused by substances, such as pollens and molds, that spread through open air spaces.

About 15% of the population of Bulgaria is affected to some degree by hay fever, according to data from the Ministry of Health.

It has been found to occur equally in men and women. Hay fever is usually seasonal, but can be year-round if the allergen remains year-round. Spring and autumn are the seasons in which hay fever most often occurs.

Symptoms of hay fever

Symptoms of hay fever can be varied and manifest in different intensities. In addition to the usual symptoms you mentioned, there are other signs associated with this allergic reaction.

One of the main symptoms of hay fever is frequent sneezing. A runny nose is the cause of impaired function of the nasal obstruction, which irritates the nasal membrane and causes continuous sneezing. Due to the blocked nose and flow of secretions in the throat, sneezing can increase and become very irritating for those affected by the runny nose.

A runny nose is also a common symptom of hay fever. The nasal passage is blocked and the nasal discharge may be expressed as a clear, watery fluid or a thicker and curdled discharge. This can lead to the constant presence of paper sneakers or paper nose tissues near the affected person.

Nasal congestion, or stuffy nose, is another common symptom of hay fever. This is the result of swelling of the nasal passages and increased production of secretions, which leads to impaired freedom of breathing through the nose. A stuffy nose can cause discomfort and difficulty breathing.

Postnasal discharge is another symptom associated with hay fever. This is the drainage of nasal secretions to the back of the throat, which can lead to a feeling of suffocation, irritation and hoarseness. This is the result of the continuous production of secretions caused by an inflammatory process in the nasal passages.

Watery and red eyes are also common signs of hay fever. This is due to inflammation and irritation of the conjunctiva, as the nasal and ocular passages are connected.

The eyes become sensitive to light and other symptoms such as light sensitivity and irritation may occur.

Itching is a common symptom of allergic reactions, including hay fever. This itching sensation can affect the nose, soft palate, ears, eyes and even the skin of the body.

Itching can be quite irritating and impair the quality of life of affected individuals.

Treatment of hay fever

Most cases of allergic rhinitis do not require specialized medical treatment.

Home remedies for hay fever

  • Avoid contact with known or suspected allergens.

Symptoms of allergic rhinitis can be treated at home

Gargle with warm salt water – put 1-2 tablespoons of table salt in a glass of water – 250 ml. warm water to soothe a red throat.

Honey is also known to treat hay fever because the bee pollen in honey makes the body, and in particular the immune system, less sensitive to other pollens.

Increasing honey in your daily diet will reduce hay fever symptoms significantly. However, make sure that you use honey that is from the area where you live to achieve the best results in the fight against allergic rhinitis.

Vitamin C is also known to be a natural antihistamine and is found in citrus fruits, and it also contains bioflavonoids that have a strong anti-allergic effect.

The combination of vitamin C and bioflavonoids provides a natural decongestant and antihistamine for allergic rhinitis sufferers and helps effectively relieve symptoms.

Oranges are a good source of vitamin C or you can take a supplement as oranges are not available at all times of the year. The required amount of vitamin C for hay fever is 1000 mg. daily.

Hot peppers contain an active ingredient called capsaicin and when you eat them this ingredient unclogs the nasal passages and helps reduce nasal congestion caused by hay fever.

You can add chili peppers to your daily diet – to salads or to the food you prepare for dinner, and it is recommended, if you eat chili peppers, to eat dinner at least 4 hours before going to bed.

Carotenoids are natural pigments in plants that act as powerful antioxidants and help reduce inflammation in the respiratory tract and strengthen the immune system.

Good sources of carotenoids are foods such as carrots, apricots, pumpkins, sweet potatoes and spinach.

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