Sneeze free gardening for hayfever sufferers
The weeds need tackled, flower beds tended and the grass needs to be cut. The spring/summer months are the perfect time to spruce up your garden and enjoy the outdoors, but a garden in full bloom can be a nightmare and these simple tasks can become a struggle if you suffer from hayfever.
According to a poll we undertook recently, hayfever symptoms create a barrier between a person and their garden. Almost half of sufferers said it stood in the way of their passion for gardening, while four in 10 said their garden became a “no go zone” during peak pollen season.
This summer, try following my handy top ten tips for hayfever sufferers before donning your gardening gloves and heading outside and help limit your exposure to pollen.
My top 10 tips for sneeze free gardening
1. Grass pollen posed the biggest trigger for allergy sufferers. It is vital to mow the lawn regularly as this will help prevent grasses from flowering, resulting in less pollen being released. Wear a mask which covers your mouth and nose whilst mowing.
2. Using a sprinkler before a gardening session will help to lay pollen somewhat, as some plants stop pollen shedding in wet conditions. Keep yourself locked up indoors whilst lawn-mowing is taking place.
3. There are hundreds of low allergy options for your garden including Lavender, Iris, Rose and Peony. As a rule of thumb, if the flower is insect-pollinated then it should be fine because the pollen tends to be heavy and falls to the ground. If it’s wind-pollinated, the pollen is designed to be buoyant and stays in the air for longer.
4. Limit your gardening days to cool or cloudy days and venture out in the afternoon when the pollen count in the air is generally lower.
5. Jump in the shower immediately after gardening and wash your hair to remove trapped allergens. Change into fresh clothes afterwards.
6. Arm yourself for the hayfever season by eating good food. Opt for lots of fruit and veg, which are high in immune-boosting vitamin C. Reducing the dairy content of your diet is also a good idea, as dairy products can really block up the mucous membranes in the nose.
7. Curb the caffeine and opt for anti-inflammatory green or white tea if your nasal passages are pouring. Caffeine triggers histamine release
8. Spread a little barrier balm (such as coconut oil) around the edge of each nostril to trap or block pollen. Reapply each time you blow your nose.
9. Try a herbal helper such as A.Vogel Pollinosan tablets, a natural remedy containing seven tropical herbs that work on all the symptoms of hayfever and allergic rhinitis, without the drowsy side effects associated with some hayfever medication.
10. Avoid gardening when the pollen count is at its highest. Keep an eye on the pollen count in your area, this can help give you an indication of which days are going to be less of a nightmare for you than others. To help you to avoid pollen hotspots, visit our 5 day pollen forecsat page.
Do you feel your garden is a ‘no go zone’ during spring and summer due to hayfever?