Depending on the severity, seasonal allergies can be miserable and debilitating. They can keep you from enjoying life’s simple pleasures—like going for a walk—and you’d do anything to make them stop. So when you hear about a possible fix, it’s only natural to want to try it.
Is Local Honey the Answer for Allergies?
One of the most commonly rumored cures for seasonal allergies is ingesting local honey. The thought process behind it makes sense. Bees carry pollen from the local flowers, which then get put into the honey they make. By exposing your immune system to trace amounts of the pollen you are allergic to, you can eventually reduce your allergic reaction.
This process is essentially a natural version of immunotherapy, and while it is a good thought, the truth is that there is no scientific evidence that local honey can help cure seasonal allergies. Experts agree that the idea of honey providing allergy relief is flawed. Here’s why:
- First, there is no way to identify exactly what allergen culprits are within the honey. For true immunotherapy to work, the exact allergen you are allergic to is targeted.
- Second, most people are not actually allergic to the pollen that can be found in honey. As you know, bees get their pollen from flowers, but most people are having an allergic reaction to the pollen from other culprits, including trees, grasses, and weeds—pollen that bees simply don’t carry.
What Can You Do for Seasonal Allergies?
Even though honey may not be the answer you were hoping for, you do have options for relieving your allergy symptoms:
- Take an over-the-counter allergy medication. If one doesn’t seem to be working, try one with a different active ingredient (e.g. try cetirizine instead of loratadine). They do interact with people differently and you may notice relief by switching.
- Ask an Ogden Clinic ENT specialist about an immunotherapy treatment that targets the specific allergy you have. This process will first involve allergy testing to determine what is making you miserable, and then you will receive a shot with trace amounts of the allergen. The concept is similar to how vaccines work: By giving your body a little bit of the substance, it will build up the correct antibodies to fight it off.
- Avoid the outdoors. Yes, this is the last resort option, but if your seasonal allergies are so bad that you can barely function, it may be your only choice.
We understand that seasonal allergies can be miserable. You shouldn’t have to suffer through them alone. While honey may not be the solution, there are still plenty of things you can do to minimize the symptoms.
To learn more about natural and medical options to fight your allergies, contact Ogden Clinic’s ENT department by calling (801) 475-3000 or requesting an appointment online.