Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Hay fever strategy

At some point in my earlier thirties I developed hay fever. I suffered from itchy eyes, runny nose, sneezing and struggled to breath properly.
I treated this with the normal hay fever antihistamine tablets without much effect. Every year I will struggle from June till early August, classic grass hay fever season. The tablets had some affect but didn't completely take away the symptoms. Each year I tried all the different tablets as it seemed the ones that worked the year before didn't work the next year. However, I realised this wasn't the case. Eventually I would try a new tablet by which time I my body had adapted to the grass pollen, which was usually August time. I also realised the tablets where having an effect as when stopped would be even worse.
What I realised was I had to understand what Hay fever was and why I suddenly became affected.
Hay fever is a allergic reaction to the pollen. Your body believes its under attack from the pollen and tries to repel it. Why after 30 years would I suddenly have an issue, I don't fully understand. I believe it is due to the fact I work in an air conditioned office all day from the age of 23 onwards. About 10 years of working in a sterile environment meant my body was no longer use to the grass pollen. What triggered the hay fever was when next doors lawn got very long and seeded, plus I had only recently moved to a move rural location. I had become sensitive to grass pollen from the lack of contact and this sudden influx created the allergic reaction.
Like most hay fever suffers I have tried everything I could get my hands to try and live a normal life. Eventually I found a solution. First it is import to understand the journey and all the failed attempts.

1) Just tablets including Priton 4 times a day - Worked the first 2 years then stopped working. Made me very sleepily and had to counter act with lots of coffee.

2) Chinese herb medicine - tasted disgusting and I developed a chest infection.

3) Other hay fever tablets - occasionally worked had more effect later on in the season

4) Honey or honey bee tablets - had some effect dependent on the amount taken. about 20% effective reduction in symptoms.

5) Hay band - acupuncture band - surprisingly worked quite well. reduce effects by about 20-30% works really quickly. Only down side is in the Sun with short sleeved t-shirt and band around your elbow. People keep asking whats that?

6) Realised the itchy eyes was down to dryness caused by the hay fever and rubbing of the eyes. Put on moisture over my eyes too soak through during the day as and when felt needed. It seems to soak through the skin and keeps the eyes well moisturised and less itchy. Also seems to create barrier against the pollen. I used Vaseline. Works incredible well. I also rubbed a small amount into the inside of my nose to give the same effect.

7) Hayfever Eye drops - works great at giving moisture put in to the eyes and clearing out the pollen. This acts as a quick hit to itchy eyes where as apply moisturiser is a longer term solution.

8) Nasal spray - works well now my hay fever has lessen. When hay fever really bad this just seemed to irate my nose more.
9) Desensitisation kit - Homoeopathic treatment to get you use to the grass pollen taken over 2 years. This has worked brilliantly and has lessen my reaction to hay fever.  I haven't taken this year and the symptoms have come back again.

10) Vitamin C is a natural antihistamine. Vitamin c tablets help a bit.
11) Plenty of water to stay hydrated
In the end no one thing worked it had to a combination of solutions. Some aimed at prevention and others at reducing the symptoms.

12) Change of diet. Although wet this year and pollen lower than normal I still have bad days, or bad morning. I have discovered this is down to diet. Certain foods inflame your system and certain foods are anti-inflammatory.

Foods and drinks to avoid.
Alcohol (red wine is especially bad. I have been told to try organic red wine as it doesn't contain sulphates)

Good foods
Flax seeds

Desensitisation kit has work well for me.
Honey worked okay.
Desensitisation kit was good as it has grass extract, but I looks like I need to take every year.

Reducing symptoms:
What to do.

 Easiest steps are:-

The change in diet.
 Drink plenty of water.
 Mositurise eye lids and inside nostrils

Then work out what treatments may work
Pills, sprays, eye drops.
Desensitisation kit
Pollen tablets
If I review this in terms of classic strategy it has all the right points.
1) know your enemy - research and investigate
2) Try to prevent your enemies attacking capabilities. Cut supply lines. limit movement. from allies (Prevention of hay fever)
3) defend against attack. Damage limitation. Treating the symptoms of the attack.
4) The best strategy is always a multi strategy. So many different strategies used to from an over arcing strategy.
It goes to prove that good strategy theory has many applications.