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As spring comes upon us, so does hay fever season with itchy eyes and ears, runny or blocked nose and interminable sneezing and coughing. The pollen count is highest from the end of March until September with different trees and plants releasing their pollen at different times. There are over 30 different types of pollen, but most people are allergic to grass pollen which is released in late spring and early summer. Sadly, this often coincides with peak exam season!

Whilst there is no cure for hay fever, there are a few small tips for easing your symptoms:

  1. Shower when you come home - pollen sticks to our clothes so shower and wash the pollen off, and change your clothes

  2. Wear wraparound sunglasses - this will prevent pollen from entering your eyes

  3. Put Vaseline or balm just under your nostrils - this will trap the pollen before it enters your nose

  4. Close windows and doors - this will prevent the pollen from entering your house

  5. Hang washed clothes inside - hanging freshly washed clothes outside will attract pollen to the wet material where it will stick

  6. Wash your hair regularly - pollen catches onto your hair so washing it will remove this pollen, particularly if you have long hair

  7. Wash pets - sadly pets will bring pollen into your home in their fur so wash or brush them regularly

  8. Avoid being outside - when pollen levels are high, best to avoid being outside

  9. Eat foods high in quercetin - this flavanol can surprise histamine production which is one of the main causes of the hay fever symptoms. Foods that contain quercetin are apples, berries, tomatoes, peppers, cruciferous vegetables, dark leafy greens.

  10. Drink chamomile or nettle tea - both tea have anti-histamine and anti-inflammatory properties

  11. Avoid foods that create histamine - histamine is part of the allergic immune system process so avoiding foods that histamine may help reduce the symptoms. This includes smoked and cured meats and fish, cheese, and nuts and some fruits.

  12. Avoid alcohol - alcohol is full of histamine so avoid those summer Pimms!

  13. Go to the pharmacist - they will be able to help you to find the right nasal sprays, eye drops and anti-histamines which will help to relieve your symptoms

  14. Local honey - eating honey from your area is said to help relieve the symptoms



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