From a blocked or runny nose, watering, itchy or swollen eyes, coughing and sneezing to skin rashes and difficulty breathing: allergy sufferers know the symptoms of a pollen allergy all too well. Suffering can last as little as a couple of weeks or at worst go on for as long as six months depending on which grasses, trees or herbs trigger the allergy. Here are a few tips on how you can reduce contact with pollen and relieve allergy symptoms as a result.
1. Close your windows
During the pollen season, keep your windows closed as much as possible. For fresh air indoors, only ventilate your home in short blasts to keep the pollen out as much as possible. If you live in a city, it’s best to open your windows in the morning and if you live in the country, evening is best. What's even better: ventilating your home after a long period of rain. After about an hour, the pollen is washed out of the air and hay fever sufferers can ventilate their homes more without having to worry.
2. Use an air purifier
An air purifier can be great for keeping the air indoors as pollen-free as possible. It will help significantly reduce the pollen concentration in the air and thus permanently improve the air quality. When the air is dry, an air washer is a better choice as it will also give you optimum humidity. An optimal relative humidity level of 40-60% will keep your mucous membranes moist which can also reduce allergy symptoms.
3. Vacuum regularly and wipe with a damp cloth
Whether you’re using a broom or a vacuum cleaner, cleaning stirs up a lot of dust and the particles flying around can also pick up pollen that has settled on the floor so that it flies into the air again. So whenever possible, use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter or even better: get someone who doesn’t suffer from an allergy to do the vacuuming. It's really important to wipe surfaces with a damp cloth when you’re finished vacuuming to remove any pollen that might still be lurking.
4. Wash your hair
Showering and washing your hair before going to bed is great for getting rid of any pollen stuck to your hair – you don’t want to take it to bed with you! That way, you can keep the level of pollen in your bedroom to a minimum and enjoy a peaceful night's sleep without any sneezing or itching.
5. Don’t take the clothes that you’ve been wearing into the bedroom
When you go to bed, you should always take off the clothes that you’ve been wearing outside and put them away before going into your bedroom. By doing this, you will keep your room pollen-free and your sleep won’t be disturbed. An even better idea is to put the clothes that you’ve been wearing straight in the washing machine for washing.
6. Don’t hang washing outdoors
As soon as clothes, towels and especially bedding come out of the washing machine clean and pollen-free, dry them in the tumble-drier or drying room. Resist the temptation to hang them outside – even though it gives them that wonderful smell of fresh air – because pollen will stick to them if you do.
7. Mow the lawn regularly
Lawns and flower meadows should be kept short by cutting them regularly to help reduce the pollen flying around in the garden. However, if you suffer from a pollen allergy, you should get someone who isn’t a sufferer to cut them for you rather than doing it yourself.
8. Wear sunglasses
When the weather is good, allergy sufferers should wear sunglasses during the day when outdoors. It’s not a reliable form of protection but it will at least keep some of the pollen out of your eyes and thus reduce pollen allergy symptoms.
9. Heed the pollen count forecast
Check whether or not the pollen count is high before doing any activities outdoors. Trips and sporting activities should be planned around the pollen count.
10. Choosing your holiday destination
When deciding where to go on holiday, always check the pollen forecast beforehand and take it into account. Hay fever sufferers are best to choose the mountains or spend their holidays on the coast due to the reduced pollen levels.
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