At this time of year there is definitely something in the air, and for many of us that certain something is pollen. Allergies are an increasingly common problem these days with more people suffering each year and as the summer approaches Hayfever tends to be top of the list.
Symptoms such as runny swollen eyes, sneezing and an itchy throat occur when our immune systems overreact to harmless yet prevalent airborne particles, such as; grass or tree pollen, which can interrupt our sleep patterns leading to brain fog, fatigue and even reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder.
What can you do about it?
Medications may be your saviour, they may take the edge off or they might just render you too detached from reality for comfort, however, they are definitely worth consideration. It is generally advisable to ask your pharmacist which of the various types of antihistamine might be suitable for you, such as; Cetirizine found in Piriteze, Diphenhydramine found in Benadryl or Loratadine found in Clarityn, but watch out for Chlorphenamine found in Piriton, as it is a sedating antihistamine which may be best reserved for night time use.
Some people use eye drops or nasal sprays, but they don’t tend to combat the full plethora of symptoms and I don’t know about you but, in my experience, they induce immediate eye watering and sneezing, so the meds don’t stay put long enough to have much of an impact.
Where symptoms are worse, prescribed injections or steroid treatments may be recommended but it is important to appreciate that there are risks, so for those that either cannot take or wish to avoid/reduce medication there are some practical steps you can take to reduce your exposure:
Avoid flowers, perfumes and chemicals as they may increase irritation,
Change your clothes after going out to reduce pollen build-up,
Wash your skin and hair before bed to remove residual pollen,
Hot wash your bedding to remove ingrained pollen or other irritants,
Dry clothes indoors to avoid them becoming exposed to pollen,
Keep your windows closed to keep the pollen out,
Wear a filter mask outside during high pollen counts,
Wear wrap-around sunglasses to shield your eyes from pollen,
Use Vaseline around or even up your nostrils to trap pollen,
And as pollution can magnify the impact of pollen, where possible avoid the city in favour of the coast, where the air is cleaner.
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