While the hazy days of summer are a delight to some, for others they bring weeks of relentless sneezes, sniffles and sore eyes. Hayfever can drive those allergic to pollen crazy as symptoms build day after day with little respite. Here’s a look at summer’s most common allergy affliction and what its streaming victims can do to get some relief.

What is an allergic reaction?

Allergies kick in when our immune system reacts to what it perceives as a threat. In response it produces histamine in abundance. In the case of hay fever, the allergic reaction occurs when pollen particles come into contact with the lining of the nose. The immune system detects a threat and goes all out to wash it out the way it came. As soon as pollen is airborne the hyper-vigilant immune system in question sends out a decree to “let the streaming commence.”

Why summer?

Hay fever symptoms arise during the summer months because this is the time when pollen and spores are airborne. Rainy days can give relief as pollen and spores are washed to the ground and held captive in a damp environment before things dry up and they get to float around again. Some hay fever sufferers find that their symptoms persist after the typical pollen season is over. Irritants like tobacco smoke, perfume and fluctuating temperatures can aggravate an already sensitive system and lead to continued irritation.

Barrier Methods

One natural method for dealing with allergies is to use a natural and inert oil like coconut, or almond oil, to protect the lining of the nose from direct contact with pollen or other airborne allergens. For itching eyes, Ayurveda (the traditional Indian system of natural medicine) has a simple kitchen remedy. Soak a tablespoonful of coriander seeds in a cup of boiling water, cover and leave to cool. Once completely cool, dip a sterile gauze pad in the liquid and then lay back with it resting on your closed eyes.

The Stress Factor Hay fever loves heat.

Be it the weather, or our internal thermostat, symptoms thrive when we’re running too hot. While it’s not easy to keep cool, calm, and collected when everything is itching and irritated, stress is only going to make it worse. Some sufferers find retreating to a cool showing or swimming pool gives a spell of relaxation and relief from relentless sneezing.

Immune Negotiations

If an immune system is responding to a “perceived” threat that is in reality harmless, one measure we can take to get some relief is to try and convince it that all is OK with the allergen in question.

Give yourself a Helping Hand

EFT is self-help acupressure technique that can settle the immune system and keep stress levels down. If you’re sick of sneezing and reluctant to hoard up on antihistamines for the next 3 months, EFT May be just what you need to get relaxed and stop the sneezes.