By Kim McDermott, Wheatsfield Wellness Manager
This article originally published in May, 2017. Updated: April 2020
After waiting out the months of cold weather, plus social distancing and quarantining at home, it’s a pleasure to be able to go outside in just short sleeves. Finally – it’s warm! Once spring approaches, many of us look forward to enjoying our favorite outdoor activities like gardening, hiking, or just hanging out in nature. However, with warmer weather also comes seasonal allergies, and makes being outdoors for some people downright miserable. Sneezing, runny nose, a hacking cough, red itchy eyes and itchy mouth or throat are just some of the symptoms a person may experience when suffering from allergies. Seasonal allergy, or hay fever, is the body’s reaction to outdoor allergens, which your body treats like a foreign invader. The most common cause of hay fever is airborne pollen.
In the last few decades, experts estimate that the occurrence of allergies has doubled or even tripled. While there is no consensus yet as to why, some believe that as our homes have become more germ-free, our immune systems don’t get ‘tested’, and our bodies can’t tell the difference between real threats and harmless pollen. Additionally, there are now a number of studies linking changes in climate with longer allergy seasons. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences confirms that the duration of the ragweed pollen season has been increasing in recent decades, translating into a longer hay fever season for many.
Some Natural Solutions
Though we can’t yet cure allergies, to the right are some natural alternatives that can help control symptoms, without producing the unwanted side effects like sleepiness and dry mouth that can occur with conventional products.