As much as most of us look forward to the springtime, for hay fever sufferers it can be a really miserable time in their lives as they struggle with itchy eyes, irritated skin and a runny nose.
Hay fever symptoms can be a real drag on the season ahead, but there are some simple things that can be done to help with home remedies and store-bought antihistamines to help.
Dr Prethi Daniel of the London Doctors Clinic shares her top tips to ensure that hay fever doesn’t affect your spring and summer too much this year.
You’ve probably got a tub of Vaseline lingering somewhere in the house, it comes in use for lots of different things and it can be used as protection against pollen. It’s quite simple really, all it takes is a thin layer of Vaseline on the inside of your nostrils, this helps to catch any pollen and stop it from affecting you.
Give your home a spring clean
If you’re suffering from hay fever symptoms even whilst you’re at home it might be time to give everything a big spring clean. This could be because of the microscopic mites that live in house dust and the dust that comes through the windows.
Not only that, but it’s likely that you’re carrying pollen into the home on your body and clothes when you come home.
It’s important that you regularly wipe all of your surfaces down with a wet cloth, launder clothes frequently and try not to hoard stuff you don’t need – the more stuff you have the more dust can accumulate.
Give your diet a second thought
Paying attention to the foods you eat can have a positive effect on hay fever symptoms, you can boost your immunity by including omega fatty acids by eating oily fish, avocados, nuts and flax seeds. As well as boosting your immunity they’re also anti-inflammatory too.
Vitamin D can also support a healthy immune system, and whilst we get a lot from the sunshine, you can also get some from the foods you eat. You’ll find in soya milk and eggs, as well as some vegetables.
Carotenoids are also great antioxidants that you should be eating regularly, you’ll find them in carrots, pumpkin, spinach and apricots.
Don’t forget your antihistamines
Buying antihistamines is vital through spring and summer because they’ll help to eliminate the major symptoms like sneezing, itching and a runny nose. You can buy them in tablets or nasal sprays, and you’ll need to take them several times a day. They can be taken as a preventative measure before pollen season, as well as during the season too.
Whilst they’re all as good as each other, the newer generation antihistamines have fewer sides effects like drowsiness and usually only need to be taken once a day.
Drink more water
It’s important that we keep our bodies hydrated at all times for good health, but especially in the spring and summer if you suffer from hay fever. If your body is dehydrated it’ll have a negative effect on the skin, joints and intestines, which stops them from functioning as they normally would, and this will only aggravate the situation.
Eating honey can actually help to reduce your hay fever symptoms because the bee pollen will make you less sensitive to other pollens. To get the most from consuming your honey, it’s best that you eat a local brand from your area.
Eat more chilli and spices
Chilli and spices work in different ways to help alleviate the symptoms of hay fever. Hot chilli peppers contain capsaicin, and this works to open your nasal passages and stimulate normal breathing, which can be great for those who get stuffy noses.
When it comes to spices opt for turmeric and cinnamon, both are good anti-inflammatories and help to boost your immune system too, working to combat the effects of pollen.
Choose herbal teas to sip on
Relieve allergy symptoms by drinking different teas this spring and summer. Peppermint tea can work to relieve nasal congestion. Chamomile tea is anti-inflammatory, ginger will boost your immune system and green tea acts as a natural antihistamine.
Another tea that’s thought to be a natural anti-histamine is nettle tea, which is said to help relieve symptoms.
More than ten years ago a Swiss study proved that hypnosis can help you ignore and treat the major symptoms of hay fever. The participants reported that they had better nasal airflow and other symptoms were relieved, and this meant they didn’t need as much medication.
Hay Fever injections
If you really suffer terribly with hay fever symptoms, it might be worth considering an injection. The Kenalog steroid treatment is a one-off injection that could potentially work to take care of your symptoms for the whole season of hay fever.
It’s important that you consult your doctor before choosing this treatment because steroids aren’t suitable for everyone.
Take the day off work for Hay Fever if you need to
Hay Fever symptoms can really affect some people and the severity differs from person to person. If you really are suffering and your job will be affected by you going into work, take the day off if you need too.