I have been meeting and talking to quite a few people recently of are suffering from hay fever, one of the most annoying and common allergies. Just as the weather is getting better and you want to go outside, you can’t!
It is particularly bad in Oxford as we live in a valley, meaning the pollen collects, doesn’t blow away and so triggers all of the familiar and unpleasant symptoms even more intensely.
Preventing hay fever
There are a variety of strategies to minimise exposure to pollen, including;
- not going out on days when the pollen count is particularly high
- closing house and car windows when it is high
- wearing sunglasses and putting Vaseline around your nostrils
- doing saline washes of your nose
- washing clothes, hair and pillows after each exposure to pollen
- avoiding animals whose fur can trap and hold pollen
This is all very well. But if you are anything like most people, as soon as the sun comes out and the days draw out, the last thing you want is to stay cooped up inside whilst everyone else is outside enjoying it. So here are a few more tips you can use to reduce your symptoms.
- Sugar and local honey (completely cut out of the diet as these will have a pronounced negative effect). Most people think local honey is good for hay fever and it can be, but you have to use it to build up the immune system for at least 6 months before hay fever season. If you start using it during the system it will just aggravate the situation and make it worse. The same goes for bee pollen.
- Other sweet items and sweet treats even if made from natural sugars as these will have a negative impact
- Reduce fruit as well as this can affect, especially the more sweet fruits and strawberries. Hard fruits like apples and pears and other berries should be ok but I wouldn’t advise having in large quantities
- Try not to have too much dairy
- Try not to have too much processed foods like bread and pasta
- Saladings; cucumber, greens, celery, peppers etc (might be worth seeing if tomatoes make him sneeze as these can effect people)
- Simple meals; salads, soups, stews
- Mint teas (have as much as you like)
- Shower morning and evening
- Deep breathing when back indoors can calm the system
- Steam baths where you put some aromatic herbs in boiling water and put your head near it with a towel to cover you and the bowl can be a useful decongestant and quite soothing
- Cucumber pieces on the eyes when that is really bad is also useful