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The science behind your seasonal allergies!

Spring has sprung and summer is coming, slowly but surely, it’s coming. I know that because the sniffles have begun. Not mine, mind. I was graced with perfect genetics. I mean the hay-fever sufferers, those with what they call ‘seasonal allergies’. I’ve always been curious about why some people have this curse and others don’t.

As with most questions with life TED-Education have provided the answer. Before we get into the nitty-gritty science let’s offer some general List For Life advice.

If you feel like the allergies are getting the better of you to the point that you can’t work, take the day off to rest! Working with sickness will only prolong it. You need to give your body rest otherwise it’ll be a torturous recovery. You need to fully focus on mending yourself, checking emails every hour doesn’t help anyone.

Now, let’s talk about allergies. For sufferers, the summer blooming probably inspires more contempt than warm, inside feelings. In short, this is your immune system going rogue but Eleanor Nelson explains it with far more eloquence. Here’s what we learned:

  • Allergic rhinitus is an immune system response to a stimulus that isn’t actually harmful.
  • Pollen is mistaken for a harmful substance and your body activates it’s defences without reason hence the congestion and sniffles!
  • Genetics are associated but so is your environment. Being exposed to allergens as a baby makes you less likely to experience hay-fever.
  • The hygiene hypothesis states that when your body isn’t busy defending against microbes it ‘practices’ on harmless substances like pollen or everyday foods.
  • An over-reation to allergens can lead to full-blown anaphylaxis which brings of swelling, shortness of breath and blacking out.
  • Your body can even have an allergic reaction to itself which leads to autoimmune disorders like MS and lupus.


You can learn so much more from the rest of the video. Watch it above!