Get prepared for the sneezing seasons with this handy guide..
Hay fever, or seasonal allergic rhinitis, is an allergic reaction to pollen and other airborne allergens. It is the most common and arguably the most annoying allergy, with around 15-20% of the UK population being sufferers. Most people who suffer from hay fever (around 95%) are allergic to grass pollen and many are allergic to tree pollen. Airborne allergies expert Max Wiseberg offers some useful tips to reduce the symptoms as the dreaded sneezing season starts.
Grass, trees and weeds release millions of grains of pollen into the air. On warm days with little breeze, the pollen can build up in the air. Once in contact with the eyes and nose of a hay fever sufferer, the pollen can cause irritation, itching and sneezing.
The body’s reaction to pollen is to produce histamines. Normal amounts of histamines in the brain are good – they keep us alert, attentive and awake. But, when there are too many in the body, they produce the various symptoms common to hay fever sufferers including sneezing, a runny nose, nasal congestion, itchy eyes, watery eyes, streaming eyes, swollen eyes and an itchy nose and throat.
Hay fever symptoms may also include an overall achy feeling, or build-up of pressure in the entire face area. The sinus area is often the most painful. Constant nose rubbing and blowing can also leave sufferers with skin irritation and sensitivity. All of this can lead to tiredness, fatigue, exhaustion. Hay fever can also affect how you sleep and cause sleep disturbance and difficulty getting to sleep. These symptoms can in turn zap your energy levels leaving you feeling low and sluggish. Chronic hay fever sufferers may experience more severe or prolonged symptoms.
Hay fever expert Max Wiseberg, who is a lifelong hay fever sufferer himself, has some useful tips to reduce hay fever symptoms. “Stopping the cause of hay fever – namely pollen – from getting into the body is one of the best ways of stopping or reducing the symptoms. There is no cure for hay fever, but stopping the pollen getting into the body is very effective – less pollen, less reaction.
• When indoors, close windows to stop pollen getting through.
• Use an air conditioner preferably with a HEPA (High Efficiency Particle Arresting) filter to capture the pollen and dust particles, cool and circulate the air.
• When going outside, tie your hair up and wear a hat to prevent pollen particles being caught in your hair.
• Wear wraparound sunglasses to prevent pollen particles coming in contact with your eyes.
• Use HayMax. The organic, drug-free allergen barrier balm can be applied to the nostrils and bones of the eyes in the morning and throughout the day, to trap over a third of pollen particles before they enter the body where they can cause symptoms. Less pollen, less reaction! 80% of users said it worked.
• Dry clothes indoors rather than on a clothes line to prevent pollen particles being blown onto the clothes by the outside wind.
• Stay hydrated and eat lots of fruit and vegetables to stay healthy and support your immune system.
• Vacuum the house regularly especially beds and fabrics to remove pollen particles.
• If you own a pet then ensure that it is well groomed and shampooed as much as possible to remove pet allergens and pollen particles.
• And finally, shower at night before sleeping to remove pollen particles and pet hair from your hair and body.”