View from my folks’ house in Yorkshire, photo taken last year by Peter Broadbent.
Urgh, anyone who suffers from hayfever like I do, will know what an absolute downer it can put on the warmer months with peak times spanning between late March and September (so the times you just want to run in the park carefree but can’t).
According to Allergy UK, ‘Allergic rhinitis is the most common form of non-infectious rhinitis, affecting between 10% and 30% of all adults and as many as 40% of children (Pawankar R, et al, 2013)’ and up to 57% of adult patients and up to 88% of children with AR have sleep problems, including micro-arousals, leading to daytime fatigue and somnolence, and decreased cognitive functioning (Pawankar R, et al, 2013)’.
My youngest is one of those children and has been waking nightly recently due to hayfever.
Now for me, as well as the usual symptoms of watery eyes, a blocked nose and itchy throat, I also suffer with urticaria (with a rash appearing on my arms and legs) and a scarily dry mouth at times (which even water doesn’t relieve)-both allergic reactions to the dreaded pollen. On the scale of suffering from hayfever, I’d say I’m a definite 10!
There is no cure sadly but you can ease symptoms so I’ve shared what helps us below so hope it’s useful.
Wear shades as much as possible ala Victoria Beckham to help stop those streaming eyes.
Piriteze syrup is my bestie right now (you can take tablets if you prefer), plus it’s banana flavour and tastes like sweets so silver linings and all that. Always use the children’s version when treating your kids of course.
Wash your hair and clothes regularly to get rid of any sticky pollen.
Stock up on tissues. My mama-rucksack is full to the brim with them and I also keep a small paper bag in there to place the used ones in, ready for recycling.
Eat well. I eat the majority of the healthy allergy fighting foods listed HERE bar fish as I’m plant-based. Garlic, oranges, tomatoes, broccoli, onions and kiwis are always on my weekly shopping list and should be on yours too.
You can read more about hayfever and what can help on the NHS website, my go-to for all ailments and concerns. I’m not a doctor or medical professional but I am friends with one, the wonderful Dr Juliet McGrattan and here she adds her expert opinion on it,
‘You might find hayfever symptoms hit you at a different time to those suffering around you. It depends which type of pollen you are allergic to. Tree pollens appear as early as March, followed by grass pollens from May to July. Some weeds and moulds can be in the air right through until October. So, for some It can be months of potential misery but there are things you can do to make life easier. As Vicki suggests, checking the pollen count, covering your eyes and washing yourself and your clothes can help. Don’t forget that whilst it’s nice to see clean bed sheets blowing in the summer breeze, it’s better to dry them indoors to keep them pollen free. There are lots of medications available to buy over the counter including eye drops, nasal sprays and antihistamine syrups and tablets. Do visit your pharmacist for advice, they will be able to guide you as to what is the most appropriate treatment for you.