Hay Fever Symptoms
Here in the UK we long for the summer months, all those lovely mental images of picnics, country walks, lounging in the sunshine and long, lazy days.
But for thousands of Brits, the reality is very different! The sun comes out and so do the tissues, the antihistamines, the nasal sprays and the eye drops. They're forced indoors with the windows firmly shut with the all-too familiar hay fever symptoms.
The most common symptoms include:
Runny, itchy or bunged up nose
Streaming, red, puffy or swollen eyes
More severe symptoms include:
Headaches (from the blocked sinuses)
Loss of smell and taste
Itchiness spreading to the ears
Insomnia, fatigue and/or irritability
Dark circles under eyes
Hot sweats or dizziness
Wheezing or difficulty breathing if you have asthma too
As you can see most of these symptoms are centred around your nose, mouth and eyes because of what histamine is up to. Find out more: What causes hay fever?
When your eyes are streaming, it's the body's attempt to flush out the pollen. All these tears can cause temporary blurry vision which can also worsen as the tears start to dry and the fluid thickens and becomes sticky.
Unfortunately blurred vision can be a side-effect of taking antihistamines as well.
Other antihistamine medication side effects can include:
Blurred vision Dry mouth Nausea & vomiting Confusion Drowsiness Dizziness Moodiness
How many hay fever symptoms are caused by stress?
Hay fever symptoms put extra pressure on our adrenal glands and central nervous system. For instance the pain of earache can trigger a stress response, a release of adrenalin that prompts a rise in temperature leading to possible sweats, dizziness or exhaustion.
Incidentally sweating can equally be caused by the immune system reacting to something like blocked sinuses by raising body temperature in an attempt to fight the infection.
Again, the adrenal glands have to work hard during the hay fever season, releasing high amounts of cortisol to counteract all the extra histamine that is being produced.
This is exhausting for the body and especially the adrenals; all this reacting, over-reacting and high production of chemicals. We feel the effects of adrenal exhaustion in a variety of ways ranging from sleep disruption to mild depression to excessive sweating.
The connection between stress and hay fever is like a vicious circle. It can be hard to know which came first, the hay fever symptoms or the high stress but one thing's for sure, 71% of patients with severe symptoms reported high levels of stress.
Don't despair if you are suffering at the moment, I believe nature offers the answers to hay fever...