By LOUISE CARR, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist
3. Deal With Stress To Help Reduce Your Grass Pollen Allergy
It may not be easy, but lowering your stress levels and keeping calm may be one of the best ways to lessen the discomfort of grass pollen allergy. Experts suggest even small amounts of stress act like a green light for your body to produce cortisone, which affects the severity and duration of grass pollen allergy symptoms. A 2010 study from the National Pollen and Aerobiology Research Unit, University of Worcester found 75 percent of hay fever sufferers experienced harsher symptoms when they were stressed out. Dealing with stress can do a whole lot of good for your body, not least your allergy symptoms.
4. Do Essential Fatty Acids Benefit Hay Fever Sufferers?
So-called essential fatty acids such as omega-3s may help tone down your body’s reaction to the inflammatory chemicals that produce all the sneezing and sniffling when you come into contact with grass pollen. A 2005 cross-sectional study from the Technical University of Munich, Germany found a high amount of fatty acids in the diet is linked with a decreased risk of hay fever and allergic reactions. Good sources of essential fatty acids include walnuts, fish oil and flaxseed oil.
5. Carotenoids May Aid Grass Pollen Allergy Sufferers
The most common carotenoid is beta-carotene, commonly found in foods such as carrots, sweet potatoes and apricots. Can carotenoids help reduce symptoms of grass pollen allergy? As with essential fatty acids, research is sparse but experts believe if you are lacking carotenoids in your diet you are more likely to suffer from inflammation in the airways. Other powerful sources of carotenoids include pumpkin, spinach and butternut squash and it won’t harm you to increase your intake of these healthy vegetables.
6. Worms May Reduce Allergy Symptoms
Worms may seem your least likely ally in the fight against grass pollen allergy, but it seems the wriggly creatures punch above their weight. A 2007 trial run by Prof David Pritchard at the University of Nottingham, UK found parasitic worms may reduce symptoms of grass pollen allergy along with other conditions such as asthma. Researchers gave volunteers 10, 25, 50 or 100 Necator americanus worms and measured volunteers’ health, concluding that 10 worms had no adverse effect on health. Researchers are developing a series of trials to test the efficiency of worms to treat hay fever based on a theory suggesting a lack of intestinal parasites leaves people more vulnerable to conditions caused by an overactive immune system.
7. Find Out About Food Sensitivities
When you suffer from grass pollen allergy you are also likely to suffer a bad reaction when you eat certain foods. This is due to a condition called oral allergy syndrome, which occurs when the foods in question contain similar proteins to grass pollen. Your allergy symptoms may increase if you eat the problematic foods, which include apples, peaches, plums, cherries, melon, kiwis and tomatoes. Keep an eye on your symptoms when you eat these foods, and consider cutting them from your diet in hay fever season in order to lessen the power of grass pollen allergens.
8. Self Hypnosis Can Treat Grass Pollen Allergy
Are you looking for a technique that can lessen your grass pollen allergy without side effects? Try self hypnosis. A 2005 study from the University Hospital Basel, Switzerland looked at allergy sufferers, one group of which was taught self hypnosis techniques which involved picturing a safe and pleasurable place. Patients who had learned self hypnosis showed significant improvements in allergy symptoms. Experts aren’t sure how self hypnosis works on allergy symptoms but one theory concerns a reduction in swelling in the blood vessels.
9. Acupuncture As A Remedy For Grass Pollen Allergy
Acupuncture has a long history and many reported uses but can it help you with your grass pollen allergies? Scientists think it may help boost the immune system and reduce the body’s negative response to an allergen. In a 2004 study from the Friedrich Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany 52 hay fever sufferers received acupuncture once a week or a fake acupuncture treatment. After six weeks, people who had acupuncture reported an 85 percent improvement on a “global assessment of change” scale. Acupuncture fans also point to its ability to increase energy, which may help if anti-allergy medication wipes you out.
10. A Sweet Solution to Grass Pollen Allergies
We’re not certain if the evidence stands up, but many people swear by honey as a natural remedy for grass pollen allergy symptoms. According to Dr Adrian Morris of the Surrey Allergy Clinic, taking a tablespoon of honey each day helps reduce hay fever symptoms caused by grass pollen. But take note – it has to be local honey and preferably organic. Commercial jars of honey are heat-treated and won’t contain the traces of local pollen that can desensitize the immune system and reduce symptoms. Start a few months before pollen season and see if it makes a difference.