Plant allergies: causes, symptoms, and solutions

Plant allergies

Plant allergies: causes, symptoms, and solutions

Plant allergies are extremely common and affect 13 million people in the UK. It’s also referred to as allergic rhinitis – more commonly known as hay fever. You might think because we’re in winter you can escape the effects of hay fever. But you’d be surprised by how plant allergies affect your day to day life.

Causes

The cause of hay fever is pollen, which can create havoc for sufferers all year round. It typically hits hardest during the spring and summer months due to the higher pollen count. As flowers start to bloom and grass starts to thrive, some people have to live with teary eyes!

With plant allergies, the body perceives some substances as dangerous, and in response overproduces allergic antibodies (IgE). This leads to symptoms such as:

  • Itchy and watery eyes
  • Sneezing
  • A runny nose
  • Coughing
  • Blocked sinuses
  • Fatigue

Similar symptoms are also caused by other allergies such as dust, pet dander, and mould.

Common triggers of hayfever often include grass, trees, and weeds, with grass pollen being a common allergen between May to July, trees February to June, and weeds June to September. You might not even be able to escape it around Christmas time!

Treatment

Although there isn’t a cure for hay fever, there are several precautions you can take to reduce your symptoms. The easiest is to avoid contact with plants high in pollen. If this isn’t doable then taking precautions such as covering up and going outside during the hours when there is a reduced pollen count can help. Weather reports will usually have an accompanying pollen count so you can check.

It’s also recommended that you take antihistamines and apply eye drops and avoid having flowers in your house. If you’re a pet owner, be wary of letting them back in the house after being outdoors. If it’s the summer and you’re at a BBQ, avoid the smoke as it can heighten the side effects of hay fever. It might also be a tip to keep in your back pocket around fireworks this New Year’s.

If you find that you experience any of the symptoms listed but haven’t been allergy tested, we highly recommend doing so. If you have a family member with allergies like asthma or eczema, you’re even more at risk of suffering from hay fever or other plant-based allergies. Finding out whether or not you have hay fever is a step in the right direction on your journey to living as allergy free as possible.

Request an allergy test from us today to find out once and for all whether you have an allergy you didn’t know about. Say no to itchy eyes and a runny nose and begin your pollen free life today. Contact us today for more information.

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