It’s spring, which means pollen levels are rising and allergy sufferers are struggling. Here are some expert tips to combat your hay fever symptoms this allergy season
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Winter is miserable for most of us, but spring — as bright and blooming as it is — can be just as rubbish for those who suffer allergies.
hay fever is a common allergic reaction where our body reacts to the pollen in the air during the spring and summer season. When the pollen enters your body, your immune system sees it as an invader and begins to react to attack it.
The body’s reaction releases a chemical called histamine, which dilates blood vessels and triggers allergy symptoms like a stuffy nose or watery, itchy eyes.
Some people suffer from hay fever as early as February and can be affected until September. Here are expert tips for fighting hay fever from Dr. Subashini M, clinical director at Holland & Barrett.
What causes hay fever and what are the symptoms?
In the UK, hay fever is mainly caused by pollen from trees, grasses and weeds, as well as mold in the environment. The time your symptoms flare up should give you an idea of what type of pollen you are reacting to.
If your symptoms are worse between February and June, you are likely reacting to tree pollen. Those showing a reaction from May to July are likely triggered by grass pollen, which is the most common cause of hay fever. People with hay fever symptoms from June to September have a reaction to weed pollen.
Common symptoms of hay fever are:
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Watery, itchy eyes
- Itchy mouth or tongue
What can you do about hay fever?
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dr Subashini M explained that you can monitor pollen count to try to avoid peak hay fever trigger times.
She recommends checking the weather forecast, minimizing exposure to pollen by wearing sunglasses, tying your hair up outside and changing your clothes when you come inside.
You can also just stay indoors whenever possible, close your windows, dry your clothes inside, turn off fans and make sure you vacuum and dust your home regularly.
dr Subashini shares another useful tip: “You can also put a balm around your nostrils and eye sockets to catch pollen before you inhale it or get it in your eyes.”
She recommends choosing organic balm made from sunflower oil and beeswax.
Other remedies include herbal and diet alternatives such as nettle tea, vitamin C, quercetin, bromelain, inhale with a dry salt pipe for 10 to 25 minutes daily and get some Vitamin D and consuming locally produced honey to build pollen resistance – although there is no scientific evidence that this can work.
If you find your symptoms are severe enough to interfere with your daily life, Dr. Subashini that we consult our doctor or pharmacist and treat symptoms with antihistamines and corticosteroids that help reduce inflammation. The drug can be taken in the form of tablets, nasal sprays or eye drops.
When is the best time to start treating hay fever?
Allergy specialists advise that we start medication at the beginning of the season, before the onset of symptoms, and every day thereafter.
Start taking antihistamines and steroid nasal sprays about two weeks before your symptoms normally start. By taking medication before you come into contact with allergens, you can reduce the severity of your symptoms.
If your hay fever symptoms tend to be severe and persistent, immunotherapy — which involves exposing you to small amounts of pollen over a period of time — can help increase your resistance to the allergic effects.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/lifestyle/health/expert-tips-prevent-hay-fever-26721204 Expert tips on how to prevent hay fever during allergy season