Seasonal Allergies and how to deal with them
Allergies have become common in the world that we live in.
So what are allergies ?
Allergies are when the body overreacts to something producing allergic antibodies when the body is exposed to those antibodies, certain cells are activated which produces certain chemicals which are the ones that we experience. Anyone can develop allergies at anytime. It can be in multiple ways – you can have wheezing, coughing.
Allergy can be determined through various symptoms:
1. Itching in throat and ears
2. Nasal stuffiness
3. Runny nose
5. Watery eyes
For most of the allergies, over the counter medicines should be able to fix it or if the symptoms persists, it is recommended to see a allergist.
Now let us look at the common seasonal allergies:
- Plant Pollen : These are in the form of spiney spheres. They are the culprit behind most of the seasonal allergies. Pollen can cause your immune system to kick into overdrive because our body sees the pollen as a harmful intruder. As a result our body produces histamines. Normally they promote healing by increasing blood flow and inflammation. But they can lean to nasty symptoms we associate with allergies - like sneezing, runny noses and watery eyes. Generally people who suffer from allergies have it bad for several weeks during certain plant’s growing season. But because of climate change. The level of pollen in the air is getting much worse. And that’s bad news – whether you suffer from allergies or not. In order to grow and produce pollen, plants need to generate energy through photosynthesis. This requires water, sunlight and a third necessary ingredient, carbon dioxide or co2. CO2 exists naturally in the atmosphere, but as we burn fossil fuels like coal in power plants or gasoline in our cars, we are putting more and more CO2 into the air. The more CO2 is in the air, the more plants grow and produce pollen. Pollen is an important part of a plant’s reproductive cycle. So more pollen means more seeds, which means more plants producing more pollen the following season.
But CO2 is increasing the level of pollen in another way as well. CO2 is a green house gas. And it’s called that because it traps the sun’s heat energy in the earth’s atmosphere and is helping warm the planet – sort of like a greenhouse. As the climate warms, there are more days above freezing, which means more time that plants are active and producing pollen. Pollen levels and allergies are only going to get worse from here if carbon emissions continue the way they are.
As mentioned before, most of the allergies can be managed through over the counter drugs but in some, allergic reactions can lead to severe reactions like anaphylaxis, where blood pressure drops and airways start swelling shut. And pollen grains can wreak havoc on people’s lungs, even if they don’t suffer from seasonal allergies.
Construction dust: This is not seasonal, but the fine dust that gets emitted from the construction sites have become a major issue in most of the Indian cities. This has resulted in increasing the pollution level 100 times in places like delhi and Mumbai where several measures are being taken every winter to manage the situation. This has adversely affected the respiratory system of people living in the affected areas.
- Crop burning: This is a predominant phenomena in India, where, after the wheat cultivation, the soil is burnt up. This causes enormous smog and suspended particles in the air that it blankets the entire north India with fog. Initially these fog used to last for couple of hours in the morning but last couple of years, these suspended particles remain the atmosphere for days together causing enormous respiratory ailments. Children are specially vulnerable and some cases, the consequence can become irreversible.
How to deal with seasonal allergies
Below mentioned are natural methods to mitigate pollen related allergies. If your condition persists after using all the mentioned methods, kindly check with your doctor.
- Cinnamon powder – Cinnamon is a great spice. Use the cinnamon powder with your breakfast. The cinnamon powder attaches itself to the mucus in our body and it is easy to expel them.
- Go outside – This is counter mechanism, but we have to understand that the pollen inside the house is more than outside. Also if you expose yourself to the pollen, it will help you fight the seasonal allergy
- Honey – Use honey related drinks. Use the local honey which has the pollen in them, that way this will help you build your immune system for the pollen that you are allergic to. Mixing honey with black pepper powder and chew it. It will soothe the entire throat.
- Steaming – Constantly having hot water steam on your face will remove the pollens from your respiratory system, so there will not be any congestion.
Don’t be afraid to go outside.
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