The days are getting lighter and longer, the flowers are starting to bud and the trees will soon be blooming - Spring is on its way!
If you are one of the millions of people in the UK that suffers from seasonal allergies it's also time to start thinking about how to tackle the dreaded symptoms that come hand in hand with this beautiful time of year.
Here at Imutest, we understand just how difficult this time of year can be with congestion, sneezing, itchy eyes and difficulty breathing. The side effects of seasonal allergies - also known as hay fever and allergic rhinitis - can be debilitating. That’s why we have compiled our top tips for nipping those allergies in the bud early to help you enjoy the spring and summer months.
1 | Start Taking Antihistamines Early
To maximise the effectiveness of your hayfever medication - known as antihistamines - start taking your medication a couple of weeks before your symptoms usually start and continue to use them throughout the allergy season.
2 | Monitor Pollen Levels Daily
Check your local pollen forecasts on a daily basis, if a high pollen count is predicted take extra precautions and use eye-drops or a nasal spray to help target symptoms directly. Avoid mowing the lawn or gardening during peak pollen times of the day (usually mid morning and early evening).
3 | Change Your Clothes After Exposure
Because airborne pollens can cling to clothing, frequent hayfever sufferers find that changing their clothes immediately after being outdoors and washing them regularly at high temperatures (>130oC) helps to keep exposure to a minimum. Remember not to hang clothing outside to dry during the Spring and Summer months.
4 | Shower Before Bed
In the same way that pollen will cling to your clothing, it will also stick to your skin and hair. Taking regular showers and frequently washing your hair helps to keep pollen away from your face (which is particularly useful when suffering from a hayfever attack) and helps to avoid transference onto your bed sheets.
5 | Keep Your Windows And Doors Shut
Stop those pesky pollens from entering your home and even your car by keeping your doors and windows closed. Make use of air conditioning in your car when pollen counts are high or when driving during peak pollen times and clean the air in your home with a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) purifier.
6 | Wear Sunglasses
Wearing sunglasses or other forms of eye wear during the spring and summer months not only helps to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays but also acts as a shield against airborne allergens to prevent itchy and watery eye symptoms.
7 | Add Honey To Your Diet
Eating locally sourced honey is thought to help desensitise you to airborne pollen spores because it contains pollen from local flowers. Although the jury is still out as to whether honey has any real medical benefits for hayfever sufferers, why not enjoy some honey in your cereal anyway!If you’re unsure if you have a sensitivity to airborne allergens which can include cat hair and dust mites as well as pollens, the Imutest Airborne Allergy Screen Kit can show if you are positive to one or more of these allergens in one quick and simple test, from the comfort of your own home.