inspire me

Top Tips for Hay Fever

18 July 2017

Suffer from the dreaded summer sneezes? Hay Fever is the annoying allergy we all want to get rid of! But is it possible? Here are our top remedies for treating Hay Fever...

Top Tips for Hay Fever

1. Pinpoint Your Allergy

The first step in controlling hay fever is to find out what you are allergic to. Maybe you know, from years of hay fever symptoms, that it's tree or grass pollen in the spring, or ragweed in the fall. If you aren't sure, see your physician to help diagnose your allergy

2. Pay Attention to Pollen Counts in Your Area

There's now a nationwide network that collects and broadcasts pollen counts—important information for people affected by these common allergens. Counts may be described as "absent," "low," "moderate," "high," or "very high," and often are provided in weather forecasts.

3. Avoid Smoke and Other Irritants

Smoking—as well as second-hand smoke and smoky environments—insect sprays, fresh paint, and other household chemicals can worsen symptoms of hay fever for many people. If you have allergies, it may be helpful to avoid exposure to these pollutants.

4. Take Steps to "Allergy-Proof" Your Home

There are many ways to limit allergens inside the house. Keep windows closed when pollen/mould counts are high. Prevent mould in the kitchen, bathrooms and household plants. Remove some or all carpets and unnecessary furnishings like throw pillows. Use synthetic pillows and encase mattresses in allergy-free covers. Wash clothing often. Keep pets out of bedrooms.

5. Stay Indoors On Bad Pollen Days

When pollen counts are high, people with severe hay fever symptoms should stay indoors—especially between 5 and 10 in the morning, when pollens are most prevalent. If possible, use an air conditioner, and keep the filters clean to avoid blowing allergens around. Avoid contact with pets that have been outdoors—they can carry pollen inside.

6. If You Do Go Outdoors, Shower After

If you have hay fever triggered by outdoor allergens, it's important to shower and wash your hair after spending time outside when the pollen count is high—especially before going to bed. Showering helps remove pollen from your skin and hair and can help prevent a night-time allergy attack.

Top Tips for Hay Fever

7. Keep in Mind that Most Air Purifiers Aren't Helpful

Studies show that air-purifying units have little effect on allergens. Small air cleaners cannot remove dust and pollen, and some types—called electrostatic precipitators—can pollute indoor air with ozone, aggravating allergy symptoms. The best type is the HEPA (high-efficiency particulate arresting) filter.

8. Check Your Car's Air Conditioner

The AC system in your vehicle can help reduce your exposure to allergens, but it can also expose you to airborne spores within the unit that can trigger allergy symptoms. To minimize this problem, open the windows part way for 10 minutes after turning on the AC, don't direct the vents toward your face, or look into having the unit specially treated.

Top Tips for Hay Fever

9. Get Some Help with Outdoor Tasks

If you have hay fever, garden clean-up chores—like raking leaves in autumn, planting in the spring, mowing in the summer or pruning trees and shrubs—can trigger allergy symptoms. Consider asking for help from a family member, friend or neighbour—or hiring a niece, nephew or grandchild for the day!

10. Ask Your Doctor about Medications to Treat Hay Fever

If it's not possible to avoid your allergy triggers, over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription medications may be helpful. Available options include nasal sprays, oral medicines—liquids, tablets—and eye drops. Read labels carefully and take all medication as directed.