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How to Survive the Hay Fever Explosion: Essential Tips for Preventing and Easing Symptoms

Hay fever sufferers won’t be surprised, but the UK is currently experiencing a ‘pollen bomb,’ with extreme levels sweeping across the country. In southern England and Wales, the Met Office predicts this misery will last all week, and by Sunday, even Scotland will be affected.

For allergy sufferers, this means unpleasant sneezing, nose blowing, and sore, itchy eyes. If you’re one of the millions affected in the UK, you might be seeking ways to get through this challenging period.

Here, we provide essential tips for stopping hay fever symptoms, from DIY hacks and home remedies to over-the-counter treatments and breakthrough immunotherapy.

Avoid Polluted Streets

Experts suggest that hay fever can be worse on polluted streets. Despite the lack of open, grassy fields in cities, the combination of pollution and pollen can be particularly troublesome for sufferers. Dr. Adrian Morris from the Surrey Allergy Clinic explains that diesel exhaust particles can carry pollen grains deeper into the airways, intensifying allergic reactions. Therefore, you might be better off in rural areas rather than urban ones.

Stay Indoors During Peak Times

Pollen counts vary throughout the day, peaking in the late morning and early evening. It’s best to avoid being outdoors during these times. A high pollen count combined with wet weather followed by sun can create a ‘pollen bomb,’ making symptoms worse. Dr. Morris advises staying indoors during these peak times to minimize exposure.

Close Windows

While fresh air can be tempting, keeping house and car windows shut can help reduce hay fever symptoms by limiting the amount of pollen that enters your living space. Using air conditioning, which often has a pollen filter, can also help. Regular vacuuming can keep indoor pollen levels low.

Protect Your Eyes

Wearing glasses or sunglasses can help shield your eyes from pollen. This simple step can significantly reduce symptoms.

Change Your Clothes

Pollen can stick to clothing and hair, exacerbating symptoms. Showering and changing clothes after being outside can help wash away pollen. Avoid hanging clothes outside to dry, as they can collect pollen, which you then bring inside.

Use Petroleum Jelly

Applying petroleum jelly around your nostrils can create a barrier that traps pollen before you breathe it in. Reapply it throughout the day to help reduce symptoms and soothe irritated skin.

Avoid Smoking

Smoking and exposure to smoke can worsen hay fever symptoms. The chemicals in cigarettes can irritate the mucus membrane, exacerbating symptoms like coughing and an itchy throat. Avoid smoking and exposure to smoke to reduce inflammation and ease symptoms.

By following these tips, hay fever sufferers can better manage their symptoms during this challenging ‘pollen bomb’ period.

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