Hayfever makes summertime a misery for millions… so, what’s the answer?
Summer is a time that’s strictly for the bees for millions of Brits. Pollen may be the friend for the little striped chaps but it’s the enemy of anyone who suffers from hayfever. When the sun comes out and the temperatures rise so does the misery for one-in-five of the population.
A stuffy nose, itching and red eyes, uncontrollable sneezing fits, painful sinuses and a scratchy, sore throat are all too familiar for many. Two main types of pollen affect hayfever sufferers in the UK – grass pollen and tree pollen. About 95 per cent of sufferers are allergic to grass and around 25 per cent to tree pollen – which means some are allergic to both.
“Each person can tolerate a certain amount of pollen without reaction,” explains airborne allergies expert Max Wiseberg. “But once this is exceeded – known as the trigger level – hayfever symptoms will occur. So avoiding pollen, or reducing the amount that gets in your body, is key.”
Max, who invented the top-selling organic, drug-free allergen balm HayMax, says there are simple, practical ways on how anyone can reduce the amount of pollen getting into their body. “Vacuum the house regularly, especially beds and fabrics to remove pollen particles,” he says “Wash bedding very regularly to remove allergens. Dry clothes indoors, rather than on a clothes line to prevent pollen particles being blown onto them by the outside wind.
Close windows or use an air-conditioner preferably with a HEPA (High Efficiency Particle Arresting) filter to capture the pollen and circulate the air.”
He also recommends tying your hair up and wearing a cap or hat when outside to prevent pollen particles getting caught in your scalp, as well as using wraparound sunglasses to prevent them coming into contact with your eyes.
“Wash your face as soon as you get indoors on high pollen count days to remove allergens so that they can’t cause a reaction,” he adds. “And shower at night before sleeping to remove pollen particles from your hair and body.” If you own a pet ensure it is well groomed and shampooed as much as possible to remove grass pollen grains.
As well as balms and creams, other treatments can include antihistamines and steroids. While hayfever is classed as a disease, there is no known cure so all treatments are designed to keep the symptoms under control.