It is about this time of year that sufferers of hay fever start going to chemists to stock up on prescriptions and over the counter medication, all in an effort to stop the miserable symptoms that the raised pollen count brings. The problem is that prescriptive medicine, over time can cost a fortune so is there anything we can do to prevent or lessen the effects of hay fever? Well, a little commonsense goes along way and the trick is to start preparing early and begin inside your home.
Keep dust to a minimum by regularly dusting with a damp cloth that picks up dust rather than lifting it into the surrounding air. Use a furniture polish or oil based cleaner and dust at least twice a week, this keeps not only the particles down but helps to reduce dust mites as they can both cause problems. Vacuum frequently, once a day is best and use a bagless ‘cyclone’ type cleaner with hepa filters. Dyson have a good range of vacuums, designed to pick up the smallest particles and can capture particles down to 0.5 microns (approximately 200 times smaller in diameter than human hair) – including pollen, mould and bacteria. They are also the only vacuum cleaners certified by the British Allergy Foundation and prices start from around £280.
As much as you may love your pet you have to stay away from it. Keep it out of your room and get a family member to wash and groom it regularly if it goes outdoors a lot, so it does bring in allergens into the house.
The highest pollen counts are between 11 a.m and 4 p.m so minimize the time you spend outdoors at these times. Also, shut your windows and doors during this time to prevent the pollen from entering your house. Remember that pollen can cling to wet or damp washing so dry your clothes inside the house on a clothes dryer and use a gentle washing powder or liquid but wash on a high washing cycle to make sure all the pollen has been cleaned away.
Keep yourself allergen free by having frequent showers and get into the habit of washing your face and hands when you have been outside. Wash your hair more frequently than you would normally as pollen can cling to hair follicles and try to stay indoors after a thunderstorm as the pollen count is highest at these times. Take
your shoes and coat or jacket off when you enter your house so you don’t bring pollen indoors with you.
If you need to take medication start taking it a few weeks before the allergy season begins. This means you will already have a level of the medication in your system and your body will react less strongly to the pollen and other allergens. A good anti histamine to take is Piriton Allergy Tablets, providing fast relief from the symptoms of hay fever and other allergies e.g. pet, house dust mite and mould spore allergies, available from all good chemists. If you follow these commonsense tips you should be able to enjoy the summer as we all do.