Experiencing hay fever this autumn? Ragweed pollen may be why!

What is hay fever and what are the symptoms?

Hay fever, also known as allergic rhinitis, affects around one in five Australians and New Zealanders(1) and is usually caused by an allergy to the pollen released by flowers, trees, weeds and grasses.

Symptoms of hay fever can include sneezing, a runny or stuffy nose, and itchy eyes and throat. Pollen reactions can also cause flare ups to other allergy-related conditions, such as eczema and asthma, which is also referred to as the 'atopy triad'.

Does hay fever only occur during spring?

Hay fever is most prevalent during springtime, when plants are releasing large amounts of pollen. However, ragweed plants release their pollen during late summer/autumn, with pollen counts typically peaking between March-May.

Other common airborne triggers, such as dust and mould, also increase during the cooler months, which may weaken the body’s immune system and further increase reactivity to ragweed pollen.(1)

Has the prevalence of hay fever increased in recent years?

Yes. Ragweed pollen thrives in Australia's (and to a lesser extent, New Zealand's) warm, dry conditions. And studies by the Environmental Protection Agency suggest that climate change may be to blame for increased pollen counts and extended allergy seasons(2).

Can ragweed pollen cause food reactions too?

Some people who react to ragweed pollen also experience symptoms like itching/swelling of the mouth, hives and digestive issues when they eat foods like bananas, zucchini cumin, celery, kiwifruit, hazelnuts and potatoes. This is known as oral allergy syndrome – a condition that causes the body to recognise food proteins (that are similar to the proteins found in pollens) and react to them.

Manage hay fever symptoms with our natural allergy treatment!

At Health & Wellness Australia & Auckland, use a technique called muscle testing (or kinesiology) to help identify your food and environmental triggers. Following testing, you can work with your Naturopath to manage your reactions using a natural allergy treatment called Positive Association Technique (PAT).

PAT is a non-invasive holistic therapy, which:

  • draws on acupressure and kinesiology techniques
  • aims to re-train your body
  • may reduce your reactions to food and environmental substances that may be causing or exacerbating your hay fever symptoms

This blog is intended as general information only. PAT cannot diagnose or cure allergies – it is intended to decrease reactions and help manage symptoms. It is not intended to raise unrealistic expectations. If symptoms persist, consult your GP.

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