Hay fever (aka allergic rhinitis) is an allergic reaction to inhaled allergens which causes problems with the mucous membranes of the nose, eyes, and upper respiratory tract. Hay fever is typically season because it’s often caused by pollen. It may also be caused by dust, animal dander, chemicals, or pollutants. Hay fever is one of many reactions associated with environmental allergies. When exposure to a foreign substance causes inflammation and then dysfunction of body systems, we consider that an allergic reaction.

In the case of hay fever, because the allergens are inhaled, the nose, eyes, and upper respiratory tract become inflamed and don’t function properly. This might look like:

• Stuffy or runny nose

• Clear mucous

• Ear pain or pressure

• Runny or itchy eyes

• Sneezing

• Sore throat

• Coughing or wheezing

• Body aches

• Fatigue

• Nervousness

• Depression

Knowing why we get hay fever can help you feel empowered to treat and even prevent hay fever in your kiddo. The cause of hay fever is exposure to airborne allergens. However, there are certain things that may cause hay fever symptoms to be exacerbated. A weakened immune system is more susceptible to allergens. Frequent exposure to food sensitivities can make environmental allergies worse. Secondhand smoke can irritate the nose, eyes, and upper respiratory tract and worsen symptoms of hay fever. In patients with gastrointestinal issues, candidiasis, parasites, or heavy metal toxicity, symptoms of hay fever will be stubborn and hard to resolve until the underlying issue is treated, too.

Identifying and avoiding environmental allergens whenever possible is the first, most important step to take. Skin prick IgE testing is one of the best ways to do this. Next, support detoxification pathways through dietary changes and glutathione supplementation. In addition to supplementing with glutathione, the following dietary changes can really help:

• Drink lots of water (2 Ways to Hydrate Like a Pro)

• Eat a real food based diet that avoids preservative and additives

• Avoid food sensitivities (Identify Food Allergies without Testing)

Avoid secondhand smoke and harsh chemicals. Keep the air in your living space clean with an air purification system like Molekule. Work on immune boosting strategies, such as those in my post DIY Immune Support. Finally, citrus bioflavonoids can be added to the treatment plan. These bioflavonoids increase the bioavailability of Vitamin C. In addition, research has show them to be useful in treating inflammation that causes allergic reactions. If used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan, low doses of citrus bioflavonoids are more effective than high doses. Rather than purchasing an expensive product, you can make your own syrup. Cut citrus peels into strips and cook with honey until soft. Children over the age of 1 can take a teaspoon each day. Bonus points for using local honey, which helps to build the system up against local allergens.

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The views expressed in this blog are not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any condition and should not be substituted for medical or nutritional advice.