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Dealing with Hay Fever

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by vitalityzone, Apr 20, 2011.

  1. Whilst most of us have been revelling in the unexpected early summer we've had over the last couple of weeks, for many people glorious sunshine and blue skies signify something altogether more stressful - the onset of hay fever. It is estimated that around 9 million people in the UK suffer from the dreaded "summer flu" and there is no age limit at which you can develop it, meaning more and more of us are being caught off guard.

    Hayfever can be incredibly debilitating. Symptoms vary between sufferers but the most common are red itchy eyes, sneezing fits and a runny nose - basically like having constant cold! More extreme symptoms include trouble breathing and constant drowsiness and headaches.

    But there is hope! I have suffered from hay fever for over 20 years now, and believe me I have tried everything when it comes to easing the symptoms. So here are my top tips for keeping the pollen at bay...

    1. Start taking your mediation in March. Admittedly we have all been caught off guard by the unseasonably warm weather of late, but if you start taking antihistamines at the end of March / beginning of April then you will already have some resistance if summer makes a sudden early appearance, and by the time the really bad stuff hits in Jun / July you'll be laughing (instead of sneezing - now that'd be a nice change wouldn't it!)

    2. Vaseline. Yep you heard me. This is without doubt the most effective product you can purchase in your fight against pollen. Before you go outside, smear some Vaseline around your nose and on the inside of your nostrils (make sure you get the clear stuff, the pink tinted one might look pretty on your lips but not the case when smeared up your nose). It traps the pollen and stops it getting into your airways - believe me this really does work.
    There's also a similar product called HayMax available at Holland and Barrett which is organic and fragrant, and full of lovely fairy dust or something , but best of all comes in a teeny tiny pot which will easily fit in your pocket. NB: if you're a girl who carries a handbag the size of a small continent on your shoulder then beware throwing your haymax in there - I did this once and it took me a week to find the blighter (inside an old cereal bar wrapper in case you're interested).

    3. Have a shower last thing at night. This especially applies if you have long hair. If you go to bed with pollen clinging on to your locks you'll be suffering all night. Get rid before you turn in and you'll breathe a lot easier.

    4. Wear sunglasses (even when it's not sunny). Yes it's a bit Victoria Beckham, but even when the suns not out, the pollen certainly is and believe me sporting the celebrity big sunnies look is far sexier than the streaming red eyes look!

    5. Wash your hands. A lot. Pollen sticks under your fingernails. One innocent rub of the eye and you'll be more bloodshot than Prince Harry the morning after Will's stag do. . Keep your hands clean and try not to touch your face. (Also good advice for those of you with spots. Crickey, hayfever and spots - who did you annoy in a former life?!)

    So there you have it,, my holy grail of hayfever busting tips. As a disclaimer I would like to say that my own particular nemesis symptoms are runny eyes, sneezing and a scratchy throat which makes me emit a strange clicking sound from the back of my throat rendering me not unlike a chicken impersonator. For this I find a warm drink helps sooth the throat - lemsip is good or even just tea. But there's probably not too many of us chickens floating about.
    For those of you with other symptoms, I've heard nasal sprays are a hit but I don't suffer too much with a blocked nose so have thus far managed to avoid spraying liquid up for my nostrils. Anyway, I hope these tips are helpful, and enable you to enjoy a lovely sneeze-free summer!
    Laura C Ward
    Wellbeing Expert
  2. bogstandardcomp

    bogstandardcomp New commenter

    tks, some of your tips were new to me
  3. I used ( touch wood) to suffer from severe hayfever.
    Even had steroid injections for it. However now I start
    taking my anihistamines in january, as first pollen comes
    out soon after. Along with this I also take my nasal spray
    twice a day (even though I also don't suffer from a blocked
    nose). I have eyedrops that I also take and then steroids when
    it gets really bad. I do all the other advice from above as well,
    and over the last 2 summers my hayfever has been a lot
    more controllable. I really recommend the nasal sprays!
    I stop taking all the medication in October so I have 2 months
    rest from it!!
  4. I had unbearable hayfever for over 20 years (had steroid injections and still missed many warm, summer pub evenings as a student!). Over the last few years I seem to have improved dramatically, coincidentally (?) when I gave up dairy for a couple of years. I second the vaseline/haymax tip and wearing sunglasses. The best tips by far! Now, I get by with eye drops and the occasional antihistamine (and of course vaseline).
  5. giraffe

    giraffe New commenter

    Beconase nose spray rescues me from the nastiest symptoms, including that horrible tiredness and irritability that comes with pollen inflamation. I always get taken by surprise every spring, then remember why I'm feeling so awful and get a nose spray to sort it.
    Anything 'natural, organic, essential oily' etc is totally useless for me, including those light-up nose probe things - useless and expensive.

    Also, dry clothes indoors rather than on the line when pollen count is high - they collect a whole lot of pollen over a warm day's worth!

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