It’s that time of the year – for somewhere around 5 months, millions of people in the UK will suffer one form of allergy or another, the most prevalent being hay fever. Between the end of March and up until August, we can become quite debilitated and even exhausted from constant sneezing, itchy eyes, runny nose and lethargy from seasonal allergies. For some individuals, it can last even longer. Whether it’s grass or trees (which are the main antagonists at this time of the year), we suffer discomfort, which can sometimes be extreme.
Coupled with changing temperatures and dry air, the effect on the body can be quite severe. The ability of the body to stay hydrated becomes increasingly difficult. Let’s be honest, those of you who suffer will admit that it is pretty miserable.
The aroma of freshly mowed grass can be quite evocative, but therein lies part of the problem. The mucus in your nasal passages becomes much thicker, causing blockages in your nose and increased pressure on your sinuses.
Is there an easy answer?
There are a multitude of ‘remedies’ over the chemist counter, but one of the most important things to remember is to keep hydrated at all times. By drinking water you prevent dehydration, but importantly, it will assist in ridding your body of allergens and toxins that affect your sensory organs at this time of the year.
What causes hay fever and other allergies?
At this time of the year in particular, allergies are caused by your immune system producing too much histamine (that’s why all the over the counter remedies are called ‘anti-histamine’). Histamines are created by the body to protect against any dangerous pollutants. Consequently, your body will attempt to wage war on such activity, especially if you are dehydrated. Science tells us that histamines protect your body’s water supply, so if you become dehydrated, more and more histamines are created, causing you to react by sneezing, watery eyes and all the other debilitating symptoms under that umbrella.
So why does water help allergic reactions?
For a start, keeping hydrated will thin the mucus in your nasal passages and keep your sinuses clear. It will also help in deterring histamine production and the consequent symptoms of sneezing etc.
Don’t just think that hay fever and other allergic reactions only affect your senses – your skin can become dry, itchy, red and even cracked during the spring/summer season. These reactions can also be caused by dehydration, so adequate hydration is the key to the fight back!
Good, clean water is always best for your body in all senses and organs. Regular sipping is better than glugging back a big glass in one go, so pace yourself throughout the day!