If the mention of summer leaves you running for the safety of indoors, with all windows closed to keep out the evil that is pollen, then read on my friend, we may just be able to help you…!
So not only was I blessed with weak lungs, and I was also lucky enough to have the condition that is hay fever and many people fail to understand just how debilitating this condition can be.
In the height of summer when all my friends would be out basking in sun-soaked beer gardens, you could usually find me by following the faint noises of sniffles and snuffles and sneezing.
Why was it that my favourite time of year was always ruined by the inability to open my eyes without them streaming and needing to leave the house with five packs of tissue.
Pre-salt therapy, I used to dread hot sunny days. What a terrible thing to say!
But for many others, this is the reality when we are faced with hayfever – which affects 1 in 4 of us.
Did you know that there are many different types of pollen, which pollinate at different times of the year – although this will vary slightly year on year – so there may be only one or many different types you are allergic to.
The most common allergy is to grass pollen which will affect you from May – July, tree pollen usually occurs from February to June and weed pollen is around June to September.
I used to be mainly affected during the spring which must mean that I was allergic to grass and often found that if I was around a freshly cut lawn or hay baling, my symptoms would be much worse.
There are the unluckiest of us though who suffer from perennial allergic rhinitis (which include indoor allergens) and they – the poor souls – suffer all year round.
The most common symptoms of hayfever are:
- Runny or even blocked nose
- Itchy eyes
- Watery eyes
- Blocked sinuses – which can lead to headaches
- Shortness of breath
Now whilst there is no ‘cure’ for hayfever, salt therapy could be used to help alleviate some of the symptoms, but how does it work?
Salt therapy is the release of tiny microparticles of salt into a controlled environment.
The salt enters your nasal passage and is breathed deep into the respiratory tract and lungs.
Any irritants or allergens that lurk here are absorbed so that inflammation is reduced.
Salt is also a natural anti-histamine so can help to alleviate your symptoms – particularly good to know if you’re pregnant as you are advised not to take over the counter anti-histamines.
The pollen can get into your nasal passages and make them become inflamed and the anti-inflammatory properties of the salt help to ease this.
Other top tips to help manage your hayfever are:
- (Sorry!) To unfortunately not drink alcohol as the sulphites can magnify the reaction.
- To change your clothes once you are back inside after being outside, as the pollen can stick to them. For the same reason, it’s a good idea not to dry your clothes outside during hayfever season
- Rubbing something like Vaseline around your nostrils can help to trap the microparticles of pollen before it enters your nose
- Obviously, not to go into dense areas that contain the particular pollen that you are allergic to so it may be a particular grass or tree so if you can try and narrow this down it’s a good idea to keep away from these during high pollen count days
- Limit your time outdoors if the pollen count is particularly high and try keeping windows closed
With us being in the UK though, it is good to know that rain washes away pollen so you may find yourself praying for rain…
The earlier you start preventative treatment, the easier it should be to manage your symptoms, so try out the above tips and tricks and join the rest of us in loving summer!
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