Spring is in the air, and for some people the beauty of budding nature also means hay fever
season has arrived. Approximately 26.1 million Americans suffer with hay fever symptoms every year, and about 14.6 million Americans have asthma
, which often coincides with hay fever.
Hay fever, or “seasonal allergic rhinitis,” occurs whenever plants are pollinating. Where you live largely dictates when hay fever season rolls in for you. If you live in the eastern and Midwestern United States you may have problems in the early spring as elm, birch, maple, and poplar trees are producing pollen. Trees, weeds and grasses produce pollens at different times, so early summer could bring on problems as well.
Because there is a large amount of pollen in the air
, people breathe it in and an allergic reaction occurs. The repeated and prolonged sneezing, stuffy, runny nose, the red, swollen, itchy eyes, nose and throat are all common maladies for hay fever sufferers.New therapy fights fire with fire.
Now there may be an unsuspected new therapy for hay fever, one that “fights fire with fire” so to speak. A new study suggests that a plant extract could actually combat the problems caused by pollinating plants.
A clinical study conducted by researchers at the Center of Allergy and Environment shows that allergic symptoms were relieved through the use of this plant extract much better than what is experienced with typical histamine receptor antagonist. These anti-histamine medications have long been the “go to” drug to alleviate allergy symptoms. However, in this random double-blind study, scientists found that the plant extract Ze 339 (Petasol butenoate complex) fights nasal mucus swelling more effectively and yields faster results. The extract works in acute and chronic cases and seems to have a preventative effect. This is certainly encouraging news for anyone suffering with hay fever allergies.
As of now this plant extract has not been approved as a treatment in the United States, but Switzerland and South Korea are seeing promising results. Hopefully, more studies will be forthcoming so the FDA can approve the therapy. Then the 26.1 million Americans suffering with hay fever can enjoy the beauty of the seasons with clear eyes and sneeze-free noses.