Summer is almost here, and with it comes warmer weather, longer days, and sniffling and sneezing. If you are one of the 18 million people in the UK who suffer from hay fever (or seasonal allergic rhinitis, if you want to get technical), you actually know the misery that comes with beautiful days. The flowers and trees are blooming, and the pollen count is climbing. Runny nose, itchy, watery eyes, sneezing, and even a sore throat are sure-fire ways to know that your allergies have set up their base in your sinuses. Staying inside is an effective and obvious solution, but who wants to be cooped up indoors when there is summer fun to be had?
Luckily, there are hay fever treatments online and other solutions to keep those allergens at bay.
Keep an eye on the pollen count
Once the pollen count reaches 50 grains of pollen per cubic metre of air, it’s a high pollen day! If you can (and want to) stay indoors, these are the days to do it. Keep in mind that certain months are more likely to have higher levels of certain allergens.
Use a HEPA filter
HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters work wonders at reducing allergens inside your home. The ultra-fine mesh prevents pollen, dust mites, and pet dander from circulating throughout your home. Be sure to replace filters as needed, and don’t waste your money on a “washable” filter – there is no evidence that they are still effective after washing.
This is especially important if you have carpet, which can hold onto pollen and mould spores and release them back up into the air when walked on. Even if you have mostly hard floors, using a vacuum is your best bet, since sweeping just moves dirt around and kicks up dust. A HEPA vacuum cleaner is best for allergy sufferers, and certain models can go from carpet to hard floors without any adjustment.
Wear a mask
No, not everywhere. But if you can’t delegate the raking or lawn-mowing to someone else, wearing a mask can prevent pollen from making its way into your nose. To protect your eyes, wear a pair of allergy goggles. You may look a bit silly, but you’ll be saving yourself from misery later.
Shower after exposure
After spending time outdoors, head straight for the shower. Washing the pollen off your body will prevent it from transferring to your couch, bed, or linens. Make sure to toss your clothes in the wash as well!
Stock up on allergy meds
When prevention isn’t enough, there is an array of allergy medication available by prescription and over the counter. Tablets like Clarityn (loratadine) or Telfast (fexofenadine) are effective for many allergy sufferers, as are nasal sprays like Dymista (azelastine and fluticasone) or Rhinolast (azelastine hydrochloride).
For itchy, watery eyes, eye drops like Rapitil (nedocromil sodium) or sodium cromoglicate can provide much-needed relief.
Anyone who suffers from allergies knows that they are more than just a nuisance; they can seriously affect daily life. With a little luck (and, of course, our helpful tips!), you may be able to get through this allergy season relatively unscathed. Happy breathing!
Article Submitted By Community Writer