7 ways to get some hay fever relief
It might not be a life-or-death deal, but hay fever is a legitimate day-ruiner. A massive 87 per cent of people surveyed by Allergy UK even endure sleepless nights because of the condition.
The number of sufferers in the UK has doubled since the eighties, too, with experts blaming our low levels of immune-boosting vitamin D, increasingly processed diets and the fact that allergies are on the increase. Oh, and it could also be your parents fault; genes play a part.
Sadly, there’s no cure. But don’t muddle through all bleary-eyed and itchy-nosed. Try these tips from Professor Roy Kennedy, leading UK hay fever expert, and Julie Silver, nutritional therapist and author of Food Awakening (Vitality Fairy, £11.99), instead.
1. Keep tabs on pollen
Monitor daily pollen counts to avoid peak trigger times. Find a pollen calendar at pollenuk.com and start taking medications two weeks before the season.
2. Channel Audrey
When you’re out, wear large sunglasses to protect your eyes and tie your hair back to avoid catching pollen in it.
3. Guard your nostrils
Protective balms, applied around the nostrils, can minimise the pollen that enters your respiratory system.
4. Get clean
Once indoors, shower and change as soon as you can to prevent bringing pollen into the house, and keep doors and windows shut to prevent it from coming in that way, too.
5. Double dose
Antihistamines prevent allergic reactions, and corticosteroids help reduce inflammation and swelling. Antihistamines are fast- and long-acting; you can take them as pills, nasal sprays or eye drops. Corticosteroid sprays or drops can be used to help relieve nasal congestion.
6. Stick on a brew
Vitamin-packed nettle tea is thought to help relieve inflammation and soothe stuffiness.
7. Up the antioxidants
Quercetin (a natural anti-inflammatory found in red onion and cranberries) also has immune-supporting antioxidant qualities.