We’re fortunate that it isn’t in high gear just yet, by many of us hay fever sufferers look to the drier summer months with a degree of trepidation. For non-sufferers, it’s difficult to communicate just how much a pollen allergy can impact daily life; dry and tickly throat, sinus congestion, eye irritation and constant sneezing can really take the shine off the most idyllic summer’s day.
If you or your loved ones suffer, not only is there the mercy of medication to lessen symptoms, but there are some lifestyle changes you can make to sometimes avoid severe reactions altogether, meaning you can enjoy the sunshine like everyone else!
Before implementing a new cleaning routine and buying new products for the home, you need to practice a little self-care to keep yourself protected. None of these tips will cure you, but easing your symptoms can go a long way. Please consult your doctor for medication advice.
A balanced diet is our biggest suggestion; eating well will bring benefit to every element of your health, but boosting your immune system with vitamins and minerals will undoubtedly help you fight the pollen! Additionally, we hear every summer that locally-produced honey desensitises the consumer to the effects of the pollen around them by people who swear by it. There’s no scientific evidence for this, but an extra excuse to enjoy that nectar is a no-brainer!
When outside, don’t let the pollen get into your airways, and create a barrier by dabbing Vaseline or Vick’s Vapor Rub around your nostrils and top lip to stop pollen in its tracks. Once you’re back indoors, have a shower to wash away any pollen lingering on your skin and hair. It will stay away from the sanctuary of your bed this way, and will prevent as many allergy-related disruptions to your sleep.
We’ve saved the best until last . . . did you know that a G&T can help stave off an attack? Histamine triggers allergic reactions, but gin, vodka, rum and other white spirits can all lower these levels and leave you less vulnerable. The bad news? Beer, wine and dark spirits all contain histamine, so consider switching out your pint for a mojito. We don’t need telling twice!
Don’t neglect the garden for fear of suffering with hay fever symptoms; there’s plenty you can do!
Firstly, buy a dust mask to do the gardening to maintain your respiratory comfort. It’ll make mowing the lawn easier, but you can forego grass altogether! Up to 95% of sufferers claim that grass aggravates their symptoms, so why not consider decking, artificial grass or a chamomile lawn as an alternative?
If you truly are green-thumbed, choose plants with impressive foliage, like ferns or conifers. They don’t flower, so they won’t be contributing to a high pollen level, but are really imposing and beautiful in an outdoor space.
This suggestion may seem a little bizarre, but a water feature, pond or paddling pool can stop the heat and dryness of the air from feeling so oppressive. They may not reduce pollen levels, but it’ll create a more comfortable atmosphere.
You can save yourself some of the pain of the effects this horrid allergy has by being extra vigilant in the home. As much as airing the house out is positive, keep an eye on pollen levels on the weather forecast and keep windows and doors shut on mid to high level days.
Regularly sweep floors, vacuum carpets, wash soft furnishings and dust frequently to keep areas that trap pollen fresh and safe.
Consider buying an air filter to capture pollen particles, because in addition to reduce pollen levels, you’ll prevent much of the dust, skin and hair particles getting into your home that have free reign at present.
We want you to enjoy the summer as much as non-sufferers, so plan ahead to reduce risk of symptoms being exacerbated, and get outside and enjoy!