TYPES OF POLLEN AND WHEN THEY OCCUR
Tree (alder, hazel, yew, elm, willow, poplar, birch, ash, plane, oak, pine, lime)
– January to June (peak time March to May)
– April to August (peak time mid-May to late-July)
Weeds (Oil seed rape, plantain, nettle, dock, mugwort)
– April to September (late-June to early-September)
– September to October
The following links might help you work out which pollen(s) are the main cause of your symptoms to help you avoid them:
Symptoms can include:
– a runny or blocked nose
– sneezing and coughing
– itchy or watery eyes
– itchy throat, mouth, nose and ears
Hayfever is often thought of as a trivial problem but for sufferers it affects their quality of life, can disturb sleep and impair daytime concentration.
Many people address their situation but aren’t regular or thorough enough with their approaches to have full success. So try everything below and see if it helps. If symptoms persist, and you are struggling, do call us for advice or speak to someone in your local chemist shop.
Using the following strategies to help with symptoms is as important as medication. Do them every day and don’t stop. Lots of people slip up with these bits.
Consider where to go/not go
o Avoid your trigger pollens – grassy parks?
o Go to the beach as often symptoms are better at the coast because of the sea breeze
o Stay indoors when it is particularly bad (we’ve all had practice at this recently!)
o Pollen counts are often included in weather forecasts. Check out: www.metoffice.gov.uk/health/public/pollen-forecast
o Avoid going outside early in the morning (7am-9am) or evening (5pm-7pm) – pollen is often highest then
o Rain washes pollen from the air so pollen is often lower on cooler, wet days
In the car
o Try a pollen filter
o Keep the windows and vents shut
o Don’t dry clothes outside
o Sleep with the windows closed
o Keep windows and doors shut as much as possible
o Hoover regularly – perhaps using a mask
o Consider a vacuum with a HEPA filter
o Consider an air filter:
o Keep flowers out of the house
o When pets are coming in and out the house, try to get someone to wipe them down with a damp microfiber cloth
o Try to keep pets out of the bedroom
o Buy some BIG wraparound sunglasses with UV-A/UV-B protection in the lenses. The UV-A / UV-B protection is important to protect the eyes from damage from sunlight.
o Put some Vaseline around your nostrils to trap pollen when you go outside.
o When you come back in from being outside, shower immediately and change your clothes
o Get someone else to mow the lawn
o If you have green fingers and want to get gardening you could try wearing a suitable facemask http://respro.com/store/product/respro-allergy-mask
There are medications available to help which can be bought over the counter in a pharmacy. The most common error people make with hayfever medications is being irregular and using after symptoms have started. Get into a routine and start a few weeks before your symptoms usually get bad and use throughout the season. Put an annual reminder in your phone to start before it’s too late. If you have questions about the medication, ask in your local community pharmacy.
a. These tablets stop ‘histamine’ from being released in the body. Histamine is a main cause of your allergy symptoms. The tablets are more effective if taken BEFORE symptoms start.
b. Ask your pharmacist about LORATADINE / CETIRZINE – we prefer these as they tend to cause less drowsiness and are one tablet a day.
c. If you find your symptoms return later in the day after ONE dose, you could safely take another within 24 hours (but ask your doctor about this first)
d. Ask the chemist for large packs
e. Ask for generic tablets, not branded ones – they are CHEAPER!
2. Steroid nasal sprays – “look at your toes to spray your nose”
a. These sprays take away inflammation and swelling in the nose but surprisingly can also help with eye symptoms as well
b. Ask your chemist about FLUTICASONE nasal spray
c. We like this product as it can be used once a day in both nostrils in the morning and then you can use the nasal rinses at night
d. Most people use nasal sprays incorrectly and it negatively impacts on their symptoms, so make sure you don’t make same mistake: https://www.asthma.org.uk/advice/inhaler-videos/nasal-spray/
3. Nasal rinses
a. These sprays rinse out particles that cause allergy from the nose – they are usually salt-water and can tickle, but you get used to it
b. Ask your chemist about STERIMAR
c. Use these at NIGHT before bed to rinse out your nose and keep the passages as clear as possible so you sleep better
4. Eye drops
a. Ask your chemist about SODIUM CROMOGLICATE
b. These drops help prevent allergy symptoms by blocking release of histamine, a cause for allergy symptoms
c. These drops can be used up to FOUR times daily into both eyes.