This time of year is miserable as sin for hayfever sufferers, no one can deny that. Up until this year I’ve been lucky and only suffered with very mild hayfever at the most so this year hit me like a tonne of pollen laced bricks. I used to gallop through fields on horses where the pollen was so high the grasses would literally send plumes of the stuff into the air ffs and I was fine but 2018 has brought with it a heatwave of pollen filled air and let me tell you, it has been HELL on earth…Literally.
Because I’m still breastfeeding Lily there are very little things in terms of medication that I can actually take so these tips are leaning towards more natural, unmedicated methods of controlling the utter hell that is hayfever. If you’re looking for a pill to nuke it then try Telfast 180, these are the antihistamines that Ben takes and they’re the only ones that even so much as touch his hayfever. If you’re looking for a more natural kinda thing then read on.
01. Invest in an air purifier – We have a Vax Air 300 and it is my new BFF. Seriously, this is amazing. We have this on whenever we are home in the day and overnight. It has various modes but we tend to leave it on auto to let it do its thing. During the night we have it on the aptly named “night mode” which is hardly a whisper. The only modes which are loud enough to notice are medium and high which sound like your regular fan. Anyway, this is basically allowing me to be alive this summer, both me and Ben can tell if one of the kids (Lily) has switched it off because we start dying again.
02. Haymax – If you are pregnant or breastfeeding then this stuff will be your savior. I have been using this religiously since I got it and I love it for a multitude of reasons. The idea is you apply it around your nose and eye sockets and the pollen sticks to that rather than getting all up into your sinuses and killing you from the inside. Symptoms wise, it doesn’t completely eradicate them but I do notice a reduction in the severity when I use this, especially if I’m going outside.
This is about the only damn this you can use without “consulting your GP” when you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. Lily still breastfeeds which basically means that most tablets aren’t suitable so I’ve had to opt for more natural versions to control my hayfever rather than pop a pill and have it sorted that way.
03. Qui-Chi Acupressure band – This works in the same way that travel sickness bands work, they have little plastic bobbles on the inside which are designed to sit on certain pressure points and alleviate symptoms. This doesn’t completely solve everything but it did improve myself symptoms enough to be able to bear going outside and I would also get a wave of relief in my nose within 30 seconds or so of putting this on.
04. Wear make up – This is a weird one because it had never really crossed my mind before but I do find that wearing make up helps relieve my symptoms. I think the reason is half that the make up traps the pollen much like the Haymax balm but the fact you’ve got mascara on automatically discourages you from rubbing your eyes. That’s my theory anyway!
05. Have a shower before bed – Night time and first this in the morning is when I suffer the worst. Mornings are actual hell. Showering off all the day’s pollen before bed will help reduce symptoms but getting rid of the allergens aka plant sperm.
06. Do an allergy test – YorkTest Laboratories do a postal allergy test which is great for those, like me, who have only just started to suffer from hayfever because I have literally no idea what pollen I’m actually allergic to. This test comes in a little box in the post and requires you to send a small blood sample back for them to test. It’s really simple to do and requires no more than a prick of the finger, similar to testing your blood sugar or when babies have that heel prick test. No huge ass needles or anything.
07. Dry your clothes inside – Outside is a pollen-filled hell so drying your clothes out there brings it in the house and all up and around your general self which isn’t a great idea. Using airers or a tumble dryer is your best bet to help minimise the pollen around you.
08. Wear sunglasses – Or just your regular glasses if you wear them, they will act as a sheild and stop as much pollen getting into our eyes.
09. Suck menthol cough sweets – The menthol will help open up your airways and unblock your nose as well as help to soothe your throat which is probably like sandpaper so it’s a win-win. This is a great option for those who would rather avoid heavy medication. Things like Lockets, Soothers, that kinda thing.
10. If you have the windows open, leave the curtains shut – We all know keeping the windows and doors shut is your best bet at keeping the pollen out but when it’s about a billion degrees outside that shit ain’t feasible. I’ve found that keeping the windows open but the curtains closed means most of the pollen is caught by the fabric rather than being released into the whole room. You will need to wash or shake your curtains more often if you’re mega allergic but this method means you won’t melt so much.
So there are a few of my tips to stay alive during hayfever season!