Living in Christchurch, where in spring time we can expect a few Nor’west winds, allergies and hay fever are common. Yet these terms are often misused and misleading. I get many calls from people asking me if I can treat allergies and hay-fever, but most people are not sure what type of allergy they have.
An allergic reaction is normal…
Let me explain. If you breathe in a virus or bacteria, your body has the ability (if you are in good health) to fight these off, kill the organism and flush out any by products of the infection.
With an allergy, the material is already dead. So there is nothing to kill off, so your body coats the material with mucus and then tries to flush it out as fast as possible. This is why you get a running nose, watery/itchy eyes, sneezes and even a post nasal drip. It is your body’s way to removing the substance.
For those of you who are reading this from Christchurch, you are no different to me. We all breathe in the pollens, grasses and dust from the Nor’westers to the general spring time air. Yet I don’t suffer with hay-fever or allergies. Why?
First of all my body is not hypersensitive and secondly my elimination systems work efficiently and expel these substances quickly without allowing them to build in large enough quantities to cause the typical reactions. But just like you, if I am overloaded with pollen, grass etc, I too will get the common itchy eyes, secretions etc. In fact a few years back my brother in-law asked me to do hay baling. Looking back this was a mistake.
I love my brother in law dearly, a great guy, but he gave me the shittiest job of standing behind the truck chucking hay bales on the deck. So I was breathing in, swallowing and generally having a large exposure to all the hay had to offer. At the end of the day (and I was buggered to say the least) when I got back to their house, my wife Lucia, was shocked to see I has blood shot eyes, pus in the corner of my eyes, was sniffing and generally looked sh*t.
This was just an overload to my system and my body’s way of protecting itself.
My point …
Those who suffer with hay-fever have these types of reactions even in normal spring days. This means these people are hyper-sensitive, but not necessarily suffering with hay-fever. This hypersensitivity relates to the immune system as well as the body’s ability to eliminate well. Trying to avoid the allergen or to negate it will be futile, as the pollen or grass is not the issue, this is not actually true hay fever.
What is True Hay Fever?
Hay fever is actually where you react to a certain plant, pollen or substance. You will know if you have it as the period of time you suffer symptoms is very exact.
For those that say “I suffer with symptoms from October 7th until November 12th as the xyc flower blooms” have true hay fever. It is a reaction to a certain plant and its pollen. When the plant stops flowering, so does their symptoms.
This is true hay fever and very easy to treat, as you can neutralize the plants effect on the body very easily. The same way we can deal with cats, dogs, horses and other distinct allergies, even foods.
This isn’t to say that the hypersensitivity type of reaction is hard to stop. But it requires a slightly different approach to build up your resistance and immune response.
Also those who react to the good old Nor’wester winds in Canterbury have a different issue also. The Nor’wester’s are common to cause allergic reactions. They will also create headaches, fatigue, brain fog and a few other symptoms. The problem also is that the winds can occur anytime in the Spring to Autumn months, and even at times in Winter too.
These winds blow around dust, pollen and everything else depending on their strength. But as they blow across the Alps, across the plains they also change the ions in the atmosphere which again, if you are sensitive to this, will crates the many symptoms people suffer.
They can also cause a problem with equalization of pressure around the skull, leading to sinus reactions, hay-fever and headaches.
All in all the winds are a pain if you react to them. But just like the true hay fever, the hypersensitivities and many other allergic reactions .. these are all fixable and you are able to enjoy the years to come without sniffling, sneezing and reacting.
If you suffer with any of these symptoms do feel free to either use our Ask the Doctor page, or give me a call on (03) 3840160 to find out how we can help.