As the rain is winding up, dust and allergens will now gather strength. Here’s how to sneeze-proof your life Once the skies clear out, and flowers are in bloom, thousands of those who suffer seasonal allergies will once again reach out for their anti-allergen pills to fight the onslaught of pollen. Symptoms such as blocked noses, constant sneezing, and red, itchy eyes commonly characterize hay fever, and it’s nothing but the body’s immune system overreacting to dust, pollen and other allergens in the air. But, experts say if you start making lifestyle changes to reduce or eliminate your symptoms, you can go a long way in beating pollutants and pollen at their game.
Itch-proof your eyes
If your hay fever is triggered by tree pollen, you are more likely to suffer from itchy, red or runny eyes at the start of the year. Stock eye drops that contain sodium cromoglicate, which relieves redness, watering, and itchiness. Keep some in your car or handbag so you’re never caught out. And, wear sunglasses. They’re brilliant at reducing the amount of pollen that gets in your eyes.
Stop a Runny nose
A constantly streaming nose is your body’s way of trying to expel the pollen, so the trick is to stop it entering your nose in the first place. Try a nasal allergy guard, a drug-free, non-drowsy gel that stops pollen from entering the nose, and is suitable for children and pregnant women too.
Makeover your diet
Nutritionists say tweaking your diet can help too. Studies suggest getting a good amount of vitamins and minerals can help protect you and reduce symptoms. Vitamin C is particularly good and is found in citrus fruits, colorful peppers and dark green, leafy vegetables such as broccoli and spinach One study found low levels of vitamin D make hay fever worse, so eat plenty of foods such as oily fish, fortified cereals, and eggs. Foods rich in magnesium and calcium also help, so eat sunflower seeds, berries, apples, and nuts. Alcohol also has a negative effect, so try to avoid booze. Mucus-forming foods — such as milk and sugar — may make symptoms worse, so you should cut back on those. Lastly, keep stress levels down. Some studies show that when we’re stressed, hay fever symptoms worse, so try to relax where possible.
Sneeze-proof your home
Don’t have flowers everywhere. It’s not the pollen that causes problems, but fragrance. People with hay fever are sensitive to smells. Avoid air fresheners and strong perfumes. And keep windows and doors closed if it’s not too hot. Vacuum and polish, and wash your clothes, bedding, and hair regularly. Pollen sticks, so keep everything clean. Lastly, don’t swim as chlorine triggers symptoms.