|Winter bug or spring allergy?|
One in four of us suffer from hay fever (or seasonal allergic rhinitis to give it it's proper name!) triggered by tree pollen, which can kick in as early as March. Unfortunately the tree pollen season generally lasts until May and early June, because each type of tree pollinates at different times, and then it overlaps with the start of the grass pollen season (groan). The two most important tree pollen types are the silver birch, which triggers hay fever in approximately 25 per cent of sufferers, and the oak, which affects around 20 per cent of hay fever sufferers.
Around 15 to 20 percent of the UK population suffer from hay fever, with our bodies producing histamines in response to pollen in the air. But too many histamines in the body produce the symptoms hay fever sufferers know only too well, including sneezing, a runny nose, nasal congestion, itchy, watery, streaming and swollen eyes, an itchy nose and throat, an overall achy feeling, and pressure in the facial area. Not surprisingly the symptoms can end up causing sensitive and irritated skin and fatigue, even affecting sleep quality. Yuk.
Trapping tree pollen before it gets into your system is the best way to prevent falling victim to early hay fever symptoms. Try applying HayMax, an organic allergen barrier balm, to the base of the nose and around the bones of the eyes. This should trap enough pollen before it enters the body, leaving you with less allergen than it takes for you to react. HayMax (£6.99) is available from Holland & Barrett, selected Morrisons, Waitrose and Boots, independent chemists, pharmacists and health stores.
|Prevent pollen from triggering hay fever symptoms|
Other tips from Max include drying your clothes indoors rather than on a clothes line to prevent pollen particles being blown onto the clothes by the outside wind, vacuuming the house regularly (especially beds and fabrics) to remove pollen particles, keeping pets well groomed and shampooed as much as possible to remove pet allergens and pollen particles and showering at night before sleeping to remove pollen particles and pet hair from your hair and body. He also recommends staying hydrated and eating lots of fruit and vegetables to stay healthy and support your immune system.
Here's hoping any hay fever sufferers out there can bid bye bye to springtime sniffles.