We’re currently in the midst of an incredibly high pollen count here in the UK and many of us are suffering with hay fever symptoms, which can really put a dampener on the warm weather. 

So where does it all come from? Well, hay fever comes from a pollen allergy, this can come from trees, grass or weeds. Some people can just be allergic to one sort, though many can be affected by all three. To determine which one you are, it can be useful to look at the pollen seasons. From the end of March to around the middle of May is the worst for tree pollen, moving on to grass pollen from May to July and then weed pollen from late June to the beginning of September. 

We thought we’d put together some helpful hints and ideas to help you battle your way through it, and hopefully make your summer a little easier! 

  • Wash hair regularly – pollen can stay in the hair for much longer than you think! Even just rinsing your hair each day can rid your tresses of any nasty pollen.
  • Choose your sunglasses wisely. Wraparound styles are particularly good as they will shield your eyes from pollen better than traditional styles. 
  • Keep pets clean and brush them regularly to ensure they’re not bringing more pollen inside!
  • After you’ve been outside, change your clothes – pollen can stick to your clothes making you feel worse long after you’ve been out! 
  • Have a cuppa! Both chamomile and nettle teas have antihistamine properties so can really help with hay fever symptoms. 
  • Boost your diet! You may not have heard of it but quercetin is the nutrient you need to help suppress histamine production. Foods high in quercetin include green vegetables, beans, berries and apples. Foods high in beta carotene such as carrots, spinach, yellow fruits and omega 3 – oily fish, can help sooth those sore sinuses too.  
  • Ask your doctor about eye drops, nasal sprays or anti histamines – you can get many of these over the counter but some you may need a prescription for. Watch out for any that may make you drowsy, always read the included leaflet. 
  • Keep windows closed and use fans or air conditioning inside to keep cool. 
  • Try to avoid gardening – perfect if you aren’t in the mood to mow the lawn! 
  • Steer clear of food and drink products that produce histamines. This is the chemical that your body produces in response to infection. In hay fever sufferer, however, it is released when it is not needed and can consequently make your symptoms worse. Foods that contain histamines include pickles, smoked meats and cheese, shellfish and alcohol. 
  • Mama “nose” best – stop pollen getting into your nostrils by dabbing on some Vaseline. Yes, you’ll have a shiny nose but better than red and sore! 
  • Eat your greens! Fruit and veg will really help, as they will boost your vitamin levels to help your immune system.
  • If you can, dry clothes inside to avoid picking up anymore pollen whilst they’re on the line. 
  • Get to the beach! If you are lucky enough to get to a beach you can avoid pollen as the wind blows it inland. A great excuse to stay on the sand and indulge in a bit of rest and relaxation we think! 

This is friendly advice from us, but we would always recommend you to see your doctor who can help with all things hay fever related. There are also tests they can undertake so you determine more accurately and help you plan effective treatment, according to the type of pollen allergy you may have, just pop to your GP for advice.