THE sunny weather might be putting a spring in your step – but for one in four who suffer with hay fever it’s agony.
The Met Office has predicted a “pollen bomb” is set to explode across the UK, with its maximum “Very High” count issued for many areas.
The Met Office has predicted a ‘pollen bomb’ is set to rock the country[/caption]
This means potential misery ahead for those sensitive to tree, grass and plant particles.
But put that hankie back in your pocket, you can fight back against the sneezing, itching and watery eyes with these top hay fever hacks, alongside expert advice from Margaret Kelman, acting head of clinical services at Allergy UK (allergyuk.org).
Spinach and Broccoli lowers histamine levels[/caption]
STOCK up on anti-allergy foods proven to help fight hay fever.
Histimine is a chemical the body releases when it detects something harmful, which causes allergic reactions.
Certain anti-inflammatory foods tackle this, such as spinach, broccoli and kale, which contain carotenoids, a pigment that lowers histamine levels.
Watch out for foods high in histamine, such as pickles, kimchi and citrus fruits.
Studies prove alcohol can be aggravating for hay fever[/caption]
BAD news if you love a glass of plonk.
Red and white wine, alongside bubbly, have some of the highest histamine levels of all tipples.
Studies prove all alcohol can be aggravating for hay fever but vino nearly doubles your risk.
If you can’t bear to ditch booze then switch to clear spirits such as gin and vodka which have the lowest levels.
Ditch the cigs too, Allergy UK says these are another trigger.
A teaspoon of local honey eaten daily helps desensitise the body’s allergic response to regional pollen[/caption]
MANY sufferers say a teaspoon of local honey eaten daily helps desensitise the body’s allergic response to regional pollen, so symptoms buzz off.
While there’s no scientific evidence to support this, plenty claim it’s worth a try.
Seek out quality honey from your area in farm shops or supermarkets, or try thehivehoneyshop.co.uk.
HAY fever can seriously impact sufferers’ lives, causing irritability, sleep deprivation and lowering mood and energy levels.
Medication such as antihistamine tablets, nasal sprays and eye drops can help combat symptoms, so it’s best to stock up.
Many supermarkets have own-label antihistamines at a significantly reduced cost.
With numerous over-the-counter medication options Allergy UK suggests speaking to a pharmacist who can advise on best products for you, or to speak to your GP.
Tea is packed with hay fever-waging antioxidants which lower inflammation and calm histamine flares[/caption]
A GOOD old cuppa is full of hay fever-waging antioxidants which lower inflammation in the body and calm histamine flares.
Swap your daily builders’ char for a herbal chamomile or nettle tea, proven to reduce allergic irritations and strengthen skin membranes.
You can also use the cooled bags as a mask to naturally soothe itchy and puffy eyes.
Get Chamomile Tea at Sainsburys for 80p.
Don’t bring outside in
IT is tempting to open windows when it’s sunny but to stifle seasonal sneezes you need to stop pollen getting indoors.
Margaret Kelman says: “Keep windows closed. This is most important in the early mornings, when pollen is being released, and in the evening, when the air cools.”
Dry laundry inside – not on an outdoor line – where items can catch allergy-inducing spores.
And vacuum regularly to eliminate particles.
Allergy UK recommends changing clothes when you get home if you have been outside, as well as showering and shampooing your hair to wash away pollen.
Keep off the grass
Wash away pollen by showering and shampooing your pets after a day outside[/caption]
SEASONAL sufferers typically fall into two camps, those impacted mostly from now until June, when tree pollen is active, and others aggravated by grass between May and July.
If you know a freshly mowed lawn or raking leaves is likely to bring on an allergic outbreak, it’s common sense to steer clear.
Skip gardening and don’t walk, picnic or play sport on a patch of green.
Don’t forget pets can also carry pollen spores on their fur.
Allergy UK advises wiping them with a damp cloth.
And avoid vases of fresh flowers at home, stick with artificial blooms.