For those with hay fever, it’s not just the summer months that can be a problem – hay fever can strike at any time, depending on your triggers. It’s a condition that can really affect your day to day life, from your productivity at work to the quality of your sleep which makes even the most basic of tasks difficult and exhausting.
The good news is that, while you can’t avoid hay fever, there are ways to reduce your symptoms, no matter the season. This is your guide to surviving hay fever all year round.
Keep the Outside Out
The first step to getting through the year without your hay fever causing difficulties is to minimise the pollen you’re bringing into your home or that you’re coming into contact with. Pollen doesn’t just strike in the spring and summer – there are also tree pollens that can trigger hay fever as well. So, it’s important to reduce how much of that pollen you’re bringing into the house or your workplace as this can sit on your clothes or hair and make your symptoms worse.
Make sure you shake your outdoor clothes before you step indoors and when you’re home, wash your hair and change into clean clothes to remove the residual pollen spores. It’s also important that you don’t dry your clothes outdoors when pollen counts are higher, as they can collect pollen. In addition to your clothes, you should also clean and vacuum regularly throughout the week, using damp cloths instead of dry ones to wipe down surfaces to stop the pollen being spread around your home.
Be Prepared with Medication
If you know that you struggle with hay fever in certain situations, it can be helpful to have medication on hand to help you deal with your symptoms. One of the most popular options is Fexofenadine, an antihistamine which can be used to treat not only hay fever but also reactions to insect bites, eczema and hives. It’s a non-drowsy medication that doesn’t make you feel as sleepy as other antihistamines. Plus, you can take it to prevent symptoms or to alleviate them if you find that something unexpected has triggered your hay fever.
Assess Habits That Are Contributing to Your Symptoms
Lifestyle changes can help you to survive your hay fever, such as giving up smoking and drinking certain types of alcohol. Smoking, and even passive smoking, can make your symptoms worse so you may find that, in addition to being better for your health generally, it can improve your hay fever too to give up cigarettes.
Beer and cider can also affect your hay fever as they contain histamine, which triggers your symptoms. So, while you can still enjoy a drink with friends of an evening, it’s probably best to choose a different beverage if you don’t want to cause a flare up of your allergies.
Keep Stress to a Minimum
Studies suggest that stress can actually aggravate your allergic reactions. In fact, you can experience reactions as much as 24 hours after the stressful event has passed. So, you might find that your symptoms are worse during periods where you’re anxious or stressed out about work or difficult personal circumstances.
Try to relax and keep calm to minimise your hay fever symptoms, whether it’s by meditating regularly, exercising to burn off some steam, or listening to relaxing music that you enjoy.
Invest in a HEPA Filter
The quality of the air you’re breathing in each day plays a crucial role in how well you can manage your symptoms. One way to ensure you’re breathing clean air at all times, minimising the risk of allergens from entering your body, is to invest in an air purifier as well as a vacuum that has a HEPA filter.
Air purifiers suck in dirty air and clean it through a filter before pushing it back out again. This will make it easier for you to breathe and sleep comfortably, as well as reducing your hay fever symptoms. Likewise, a HEPA filter in your vacuum will be more efficient at removing allergens from your home – there are even models you can purchase that are carefully designed for allergy sufferers.
Hay fever can make you miserable, from making you feel drowsy and congested, as well as causing sneezing and coughing. But contrary to popular belief, it’s not just the warmer months that can cause your symptoms to flare up.
Hay fever can be caused by a number of triggers, from pollen and dust mites to pet dander. By learning how to avoid your triggers to having the right treatment close to hand and ensuring your lifestyle habits don’t interfere with your condition, you can survive hay fever year-round and minimise your symptoms.