Spring is a time of birth, of new life, and of beginnings. After this past rainy season, there has been such an explosive growth of plant life all around us that many people, myself included, are now suffering the beginnings of hay fever. If you have never had allergies, count yourself lucky! Because the symptoms of seasonal (or sometimes not-so-seasonal) allergies can play a huge part in decreasing one's quality of life.
Hay fever may have symptoms that start like the beginnings of a cold--runny nose, sneezing, congestion, and sinus pressure, but unlike a cold, there seems to be no end in sight. Most people who have seasonal allergies end up turning to antihistamines and steroidal nasal sprays for relief. But sometimes, what's supposed to be a temporary remedy ends up being needed on a daily basis because symptoms keep coming back. A simple google search will tell you that chronic use of antihistamines can lead to side effects from dryness of the nose, mouth, and throat to audio-visual disturbances, and sometimes even chronic gastrointestinal problems. And chronic steroid use is even scarier, with side effects ranging from weight gain to increased chance for infection to high blood pressure and even excessive bleeding from the mucus membranes.