Are your hayfever symptoms disrupting day-to-day life? Have you exhausted the treatment options offered by your local pharmacy? Well, find out some possible solutions here!
Louise Baillie S.A.C. Dip (Diet, Exercise & Fitness), Advanced Human Anatomy & Physiology Level 3 @ActiveLouise Ask Louise
25 June 2020
What can help ease hayfever symptoms?
If your immune system over-reacts to tree, grass or weed pollen causing symptoms like a blocked nose, runny eyes, a streaming nose and irritated skin, the following may help:
Less caffeine and refined sugar
Taking precautions before going out
Managing pollen levels at home
Read on to find out more about how each of these things can bring relief for hayfever sufferers.
Sip nettle tea
Nettle tea can be quite helpful during hayfever season as it is naturally anti-inflammatory. This means it can help calm the histamine-producing effects of pollen. Nettle extract (Urtica dioica) affects key receptors and enzymes associated with allergic rhinitis.1
Try drinking 2-3 cups of nettle tea a day in place of your usual preferred hot drink to see if this natural remedy helps you. I'd also recommend taking a look at my blog 'How can nettle help your allergies?' for more information.
Pollinosan Hayfever Tablets – if you are struggling with a range of symptoms, this is the product for you. These tablets can help with things like sneezing, congestion and irritated eyes, and are suitable to take alongside antihistamines.
Moisturising Eye Drops – if your eyes the area most troubled by hayfever, you may want to try these soothing, moisturising drops.
Pollinosan Nasal Spray –this option helps to soothe and lubricate the nasal passages, helping to rid them of pollen and other allergens. This is a good option if you are suffering from the likes of congestion or other nasal symptoms.
My Self-Care tip: When should you take hayfever medications?
Wondering when to take your hayfever medications in order to make them most effective? I give some answers to this question in my video below!
Load up on vitamin C
We need a healthy immune system to be able to deal with allergens. Vitamin C supports immune health, so there's good reason to get more of it during hayfever season.
Also, vitamin C is another known anti-inflammatory that can dampen down the effects of histamine. This means you will want to make sure your diet has plenty of vitamin C-rich foods in it, such as oranges, broccoli, peppers and tomatoes when pollen levels reach a peak.
Limit the cake and coffee combo
Caffeine and refined sugar contain high levels of histamines that can trigger inflammatory symptoms like congestion and itchy skin. Therefore, unfortunately, these are two things that may have to be limited when there is a lot of pollen in the air.
Other foods that hayfever sufferers should watch out for include:
Top tip – Get baking at home and use fruits as the basis for bakes. These are naturally sweet and are a lot healthier than baking with sugar. Our Cinnamon Sugar Chickpea Cookies are a good option!
Dairy products can be mucus-producing, so it is best to limit how much you consume when pollen counts are high. Too much of it may make the likes of congestion, blocked ears and headaches worse.
There are lots of dairy-free products on the market now, such as almond and soya milk; so, you could use these in place of regular milk.
Take precautions before heading out
First of all, before heading out make sure you have taken your usual hayfever remedies; then, have them to hand in case symptoms flare up when you are out.
Wearing sunglasses will give your eyes some protection against pollen, so this is a must if you are prone to watery, itchy and red eyes.
Next, opt for light, long-sleeved clothing. When you get home, get changed in the bathroom and pop the clothing straight in the wash to prevent pollen being distributed around the home. Leaving your shoes at the front door will also reduce the likelihood of pollen spreading indoors.
It is thought that indoor air levels of many pollutants may be 2-10 times higher than outdoor levels, so it is no wonder you can still experience symptoms here!2
There are some everyday products that may make allergy symptoms worse at home, such as house plants, toiletries and air fresheners. Plants can have mould growing in their soil, which may cause reactions when you are sensitive. Toiletries and air fresheners often contain harsh, irritating chemicals, which are likely to cause a flare-up in hayfever symptoms. These kinds of products are mostly essential, so try opting for natural versions that are less likely to cause irritation.
Alcohol is another product that is inflammatory, so you may have to limit how often you have your favourite tipple if you want to ensure your symptoms stay under control.
Top tip – opt for mocktails with fresh fruit juice. This way you can top up your nutrient intake, whilst also having a refreshing summer’s drink!
Stress can affect how well the immune system operates and, therefore, how well it is able to deal with allergens. So, finding ways to manage this problem is important when the hayfever season rolls round.
What you eat can have a dramatic effect on your hayfever symptoms. While anti-inflammatory and natural anti-histamine foods can help control your symptoms, foods containing dairy and foods rich in sugar can actually make them worse.