Living With Allergy
What is allergy?
Allergy is essentially your body’s immune system over-reacting to what are generally harmless substances - like dust mites, pollen or animal hair. These substances are called allergens and can be a variety of things either inhaled or consumed. The bodies reaction may then show as as hay fever, asthma or skin reactions such as eczema.
For some people these allergens cause your body to produce antibodies and histamines that cause irritation and inflammation.
For some the body’s reaction results in hay fever (also known as seasonal allergic rhinitis) causing sneezing, a runny or blocked nose, and an itchy mouth and irritated throat. It can also result in allergic conjunctivitis affecting the eyes causing, watery, itchy eyes, with puffy swollen eyelids.
Perennial allergic rhinitis (a condition that causes symptoms all year round) often causes a stuffy, blocked nose.
The most common types of allergic rhinitis and conjunctivitis include:
Grass, weed, and tree pollen, plant resins
Pet hair and saliva can cause allergies
Caused by dust mite waste
Various foods can cause allergies too
Mould spores can trigger reactions.
Tackling your allergy symptoms
Often the best treatment is prevention but it is very difficult to avoid allergens, particularly if you have hay fever or dust mite allergies. You can take steps to reduce your allergen exposure, like regular dusting, or keeping an eye on the pollen count.
Many allergy sufferers treat allergies with antihistamines, corticosteroids, and / or decongestants. Many antihistamines are available over the counter coming in forms such as liquids, pills, and nasal sprays.
Unfortunately, as with many drugs antihistamines can cause side effects such as dizziness, dry mouth, nausea and vomiting, blurred vision, and trouble urinating. So exploring more natural options should be considered.