Summer is here and hay fever season is in full swing, bringing with it leaky eyes, clogged sinuses and sneezing fits. With recent reports stating that gin was the answer to relieving symptoms, take a look at these doctor approved remedies…
Change your clothes as soon as you get home
When you’re outside, pollen can stick to your clothes, which may explain why you’re feeling sneezy long after you get home. So by changing into something else, you can help deter the symptoms.
Shake your jacket
We all have clothes which we may wear most days, like a coat or jacket, make sure that you don’t start the day with an unwelcome dose of pollen and give your coat a good shake before you put it back on.
Dry your clothes indoors
Washing clothes will help to get rid of pollen, but if you dry them outside, they could attract pollen again and put you back where you started. So it’s important that if you can, dry clothes inside to stop pollen getting to them. If you don’t have enough space to dry your clothes inside, then make sure that you don’t hang your clothes in the early morning or the evening when pollen levels are the highest.
Rinse your hair regularly
Your hair is another place for pollen to latch onto and it can cause hay fever symptoms, so by rinsing it regularly, this should stop it happening, there’s no need to use shampoo though, simply rinse with water and this will do the job.
Keep pets clean
When it comes to pets, try and control them before they come into the house as they can easily bring pollen into your home. By giving your pets a regular brush or bath during the day, you can remove the majority of pollen.
Check the weather forecast
Pay attention to the weather forecast and note when there’s a high pollen count, it will usually be mentioned if it’s particularly high. If the count is high and you suffer from severe symptoms then it may be best to stay in doors.
Keep your windows closed
If pollen can’t get to you, your hay fever won’t flare up, this could be difficult to do on a really hot day so it’s important to check that you have air conditioning to keep you cool.
Good news for anyone who hates mowing the lawn and pottering in the garden, it’s obviously going to leave you exposed to pollen, so this is one chore you can excuse yourself from. Some grass is more likely to release pollen the taller they’re allowed to grow, so try and get someone who doesn’t have hay fever to do it for you.
Choose your sunglasses carefully
Sunglasses shield your eyes from more than just the sun, if itchy eyes are one of your hay fever symptoms, then the right pair of shades can help keep pollen away, research has shown that wraparounds are the most effective.
Protect your nose
Anything you can do to stop getting pollen into your nose will help keep your hay fever symptoms at bay, one way to do this is by applying Vaseline around your nostrils to trap the pollen.
As with any form of air pollution, cigarette smoke will irritate the lining of your airways and make your allergies worse.
Leave the city
Most people think that hay fever symptoms are worse in the countryside, but some studies show that they are more likely to occur in a big city. Increased air pollution is the reason for this, with at least 40 UK towns and cities that the World Health Organisation has identified as exceeding normal air pollution levels.
Head for the sea
You may be surprised but a trip to the beach could be exactly what you need to calm your symptoms, the refreshing sea breeze blows pollen inland before it can get to you, making it perfect to clear your sinuses out.
Eat spicy food
If your hay fever causes a stuffy, blocked nose, a hot curry could really help, spicy chilli peppers can help to widen your airways and make it easier to breath, other spices such as turmeric, are natural anti-inflammatories and can also help.
Choose ingredients carefully
A really great nutrient for hay fever is a flavanol called quercetin which studies have shown can suppress histamine production. Foods that are high in quercetin include green vegetables, berries, beans and apples.
Eating foods which are rich in beta carotene (this includes carrots, spinach, any yellow fruit) and omega 3 which is found in oily fish, these foods have be known to sooth a blocked nose and painful sinuses.
Try a new tea
Should you like to start the day with a cup of tea, there’s lots of options that can help manage hay fever. Chamomile or nettle tea helps to relive symptoms, as both are an antihistamine and anti-inflammatory properties.
Stay away from food that produces histamine
Histamine is the chemical your body produces in response to infections, it causes swelling that will protect your body and in hay fever sufferers, it’s released when it’s not needed. Try not to make symptoms worse and avoid foods which contain histamine or will encourage your body to produce more of it, some of these foods include pickles, cured, smoked meat, fish, cheese and nuts.
Fruits encourage your body to release histamine and help to make your hay fever worse, if your mouth feels tingly when eating a certain fruit, this may explain why.
Whilst it is tempting to relax with an alcoholic drink on a summer’s day, these are unfortunately packed with histamine.
Find the right antihistamine
Antihistamines are the most common treatment when it comes to a hay fever, use them when you experience symptoms or if you know which type of pollen you’re allergic to, you can take your hay fever symptoms during the hay fever season to help stop symptoms before they happen.
Some antihistamines do tend to make you drowsy, a side effect of the drug, so make sure you see a doctor as they’ll be able to make sure you’re getting an effective medicine that won’t disrupt your day.
If a blocked nose is your main problem, doctors are able to suggest effective nasal sprays, choosing the right nasal spray is important, a simply decongestant may be all you require, whilst more severe symptoms may need a prescription for corticosteroid spray.
For those hay fever sufferers who are mainly affected by problems with their eyes, eye drops can help, they contain antihistamines can help with symptoms such as itching, redness and watering.
If you’d like quick answers about the pollen that you’re allergic to, you can see a doctor and arrange for a blood test, this will reveal what’s responsible for setting off your symptoms, helping you to create an effective treatment plan.
Keep a hay fever diary
If you’re happy to play the long game, then note down your symptoms and when they occur each year, this may help you to notice patterns. You can help prepare for the future as you’ll be able to work out when your symptoms are likely to be at their worst.