You enjoy cultivating the garden and raising livestock but you detest the runny nose, itchy eyes, congestion, and sneezing that accompany your passion. If you are not suffering from a cold, you most likely are suffering from hay fever. Hay fever isn't caused by a virus, but rather by your body's allergic response to allergens. You can't escape these allergens, so here are some tips to reduce hay fever triggers and symptoms.
Create an Allergen-Free Environment
After a long day working outside, it's important to get some much-needed rest away from any allergen triggers. So making your home a safe haven from pollen, animal fur, and any other allergens is the first step in reducing your symptoms. Whenever possible, install hardwood or linoleum flooring and use washable area rugs. Vacuum with a HEPA filter and shampoo your carpets often. Furnishings and décor should be made of easy-to-clean surfaces and fabrics. Keep your furry friends off the furniture and on the floor and bathe your companion weekly to reduce the allergens trapped in the fur. Most importantly, replacing pillow covers and mattress pads often can keep your sleeping surfaces free from allergens.
Bandanas or Face Masks
In the not-so-distant past, the iconic red bandana tied around the neck of the cowboy was more than a fashion statement; it was an effort with roots in practicality. This simple, square piece of cloth folded and knotted around the neck was not just to wipe the sweat away; it was placed over the mouth and nose to protect the cowboy from inhaling dust and dirt. Working outside with a bandana or allergy/surgical mask allows you to keep gunk out of your airways.
In modern days, the most common way to treat hay fever is with medicines specifically formulated to reduce allergies. Also known as antihistamines, there are a variety of pills, liquids, lotions, nasal sprays and eye drops available to treat and relieve the symptoms of hay fever. When your body is exposed to allergens, it releases a chemical known as histamine, which causes allergy symptoms. Antihistamine medications stop the histamine from affecting the cells in your body, allowing your body to stop the allergens from causing hay fever at a cellular level.
A holistic approach to reducing hay fever is the ancient practice of nasal irrigation. By using a neti pot, you simply tilt your head slightly to one side, pour the water into one nostril and allow the solution to drain out the other nostril. An over-the-counter saline spray can also be used as an at-home remedy. Nasal irrigation reduces hay fever symptoms and is a safe alternative to clearing the allergens from your nasal passages.
Hay fever is no fun, but that doesn’t mean that you have to keep suffering. By following these tips, you can help reduce the effects of hay fever while farming.
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