When it comes to summer most of us are looking forward to sitting out in the garden, enjoying a refreshing beverage and making the most of the British weather. However, the rest of us dread that time of the year when the weather is getting better, not because we don’t enjoy the sun, but because we are chronic hayfever sufferers!
Coming from a family of major hayfever sufferers, here are a few tips I have learned over the years that might help you.
Over the counter medicine: Tablets, Nasal Sprays and Eye drops.
Although this one is completely obvious, it’s the first thing you should go for when you start to notice your symptoms. However, to get the full effect, start taking your medicine early. This will give you a good build before your allergies start. If your hayfever is still bad, use the tablet and nasal spray once a day and then use daily eye drops as and when needed throughout the day. If your eyes are super itchy, put a damp flannel in the freezer for five minutes and then apply it to your eyes.
Now whether this works or not, I’m unsure. However, some health articles online and a few family members have tried it and swear that eating organic, locally sourced honey helps you to become less sensitive to the pollen in your area. Now this is obviously no quick fix! If you are going to try this method it will take time, but the idea behind this theory is that you are ingesting local pollen as the bees in your area will be pollinating local flowers to make the honey, and as a result you might experience fewer seasonal allergy symptoms.
Dry your clothes inside
One of the best things about summer is being able to dry your clothes outside in the fresh air. However, drying your clothes outside in the sun will make your hayfever worse! Pollen travels in the wind and will attach itself to your clothes and bed sheets if they’re left hanging outside.
No Fresh Flowers Indoors
I like receiving flowers as much as the next person, but a fresh bunch of flowers, especially Lilies still release pollen, even after they’ve been picked. If you still want fresh flowers in the house, Pansies, Peonies, Hydrangea, Orchids, Primrose and Carnations are the best ones to have around as they produce less pollen.
Keep Pets Inside
Although this may seem a ridiculous thing to suggest and we all know it’s not possible to keep your pets cooped up 24/7. If you suffer from really bad hayfever try and keep your pets inside as often as possible as the pollen can attach itself to your pet’s fur. For example, if they have been rolling around in the grass or rummaging around under trees and bushes, they will be covering themselves in tree and grass pollen.
Your sunglasses will be your best friend during hayfever season. If you don’t own a pair of wraparound sunglasses – go and buy some! Wearing them will protect you from airborne pollen being blown directly into your eyes. If you wear contacts and your hayfever is particularly bad, swap them for your glasses. This will reduce the risk of getting conjunctivitis. Even though you wash your contact lenses before putting them in and taking them out, you don’t get rid of all the pollen and germs that form on your lenses during that day. Therefore when you reuse your contact lenses you will be putting a bit of yesterday’s pollen back into your eyes.
Rain will make your Hayfever better!
FALSE! Plants do prefer to release their pollen into the air on a sunny day rather than a rainy day. But if the rain is occurring around a thunderstorm, then the humidity in the air can make pollen grains burst open, releasing a high density of pollen grains into the surrounding air.
Hayfever only starts when you’re younger
FALSE! Hayfever can start at any age. It usually starts in childhood or during the teenage years, and is more common in boys than girls. However, in adults men and women are equally affected. You’re more likely to develop hayfever if you have a family history of allergies, particularly asthma or eczema.
I’m allergic to that flower
FALSE! Pollen allergies are from airborne pollen particles, which have already blown away from the plant responsible. However, the pollen in a lot of flowers is coated and sticky, so the likelihood of it becoming airborne is a lot less. That’s why grass and trees are the more likely culprits