Hay fever: The ‘best’ ways to prevent sore, swollen eyes, and sneezing fits this summer

Jon Kay says 'I'm worried about your hay fever' to Carol Kirkwood

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Airborne allergens expert Max Wiseberg highlighted that right now it’s “peak grass pollen season”, and it seems as though some “people are suffering more”. “Funnily enough, the pollen counts this year has not been higher than previous years,” said Wiseberg. “But there may be other reasons why people are suffering more.” Wiseberg puts it down to pollution, Covid, and more potent pollen grains.

He elaborated: “Pollution can cause us to be more sensitive to the pollen; there has been a suggestion that Covid might have ‘reset’ some people’s immune system to make them more susceptible to hay fever.

“And there is a possibility that the pollen grains are becoming more potent. But these are all theories and no one really knows.”

People who are allergic to pollen can take measures right now to help prevent a severe reaction.

“The old adage ‘prevention is better than cure’ certainly stands up,” Wiseberg asserted.

“If there is less pollen in your body there is less pollen for you to react to,” he explained.

Wiseberg recommends combining treatments to make a “hay fever first aid kid”.

“One of the best ways to prevent pollen getting into your body is to create a physical barrier to the pollen,” he continued.

“Applying an organic allergen barrier balm, such as HayMax, around the nostrils and bones of the eyes helps to keep pollen out.”

Wiseberg also suggests wearing wraparound glasses when going outside to help prevent pollen from getting into your eyes.

“Wearing a hat, cap or other head covering when outside helps prevent pollen particles being caught in your hair,” he added. “And if you have long hair, tie it up.”

If possible, Wiseberg recommends avoiding going out in the early mornings and early evenings when pollen levels are at their highest.

“These simple measures will reduce your pollen load, meaning your body has less to deal with,” he emphasised.

A hay fever first aid kit could include:

  • Antihistamines
  • Steroid nasal sprays
  • Wraparound glasses
  • Eye drops.

“Never take two antihistamines together,” Wiseberg cautioned. “Never take two steroid nasal sprays together.”

He added: “Consult your pharmacist or doctor about it if you are already taking another medication.”

Hay fever symptoms

The NHS listed hay fever symptoms, such as:

  • Sneezing and coughing
  • A runny or blocked nose
  • Itchy, red or watery eyes
  • Itchy throat, mouth, nose and ears
  • Loss of smell
  • Pain around your temples and forehead
  • Headache
  • Earache
  • Feeling tired.

There are certain activities to avoid if you have hay fever, the health body stated.

One such activity is to not walk on cut grass, or on grass in general – and try not to spend too much time outside.

“Do not keep fresh flowers in the house,” the NHS added. “Do not smoke or be around smoke – it makes the symptoms worse.”

Airborne allergens expert Max Wiseberg is the creator of HayMax.

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