Illnesses and symptoms

Hay fever? Seven quick tips for battling pollen

Spring is in the air and pollen season is in full bloom – time to reach for the tissues.

Allergy sufferers beware – many trees and grasses are blooming again. Anyone with a pollen allergy will experience "spring fever" of a different kind – one that comes with itching, tickling and sneezing.

Itching, sneezing and a runny or blocked nose are typical signs of a pollen allergy. If allergy symptoms are mild, sufferers can often get some relief just by using over-the-counter medicines or homeopathic remedies.

Amazing antihistamine

Homeopathic hay-fever remedies stimulate self-healing. The idea is that the body regulates itself by its own means. If you're not convinced, or the remedies are not effective, you can try an antihistamine instead.

The anti-allergy component in this type of medicine blocks the histamine produced by the body, which is what causes the allergic reaction.

If you are going to use antihistamines, however, you should check the package insert for possible side-effects, even though a prescription is not needed. First-generation antihistamines, for instance, can often lead to severe drowsiness, which is why you should be careful when driving or operating machinery. Although these side-effects are less common in second-generation antihistamines, you may experience headaches or dizziness instead.

High pollen count and no medicine on hand? Here's what to do.

If you are susceptible to hay fever, you should always keep a stock of medicine at home, particularly in spring. If you suddenly run out or can’t find any, and your nose won't stop running – don’t panic. There are a few things you can try. However hopeless things may seem, there are seven simple steps you can take to reduce your pollen exposure and minimize allergic reactions.

Seven tips to help you beat pollen

  • 1. Ventilate at the right time – in the morning in the city, in the evening in the countryside (but briefly). Otherwise keep windows and doors closed.
  • 2. Dust your home with a damp cloth.
  • 3. Only use tissues once.
  • 4. Try a saline nasal rinse.
  • 5. If you have no pollen filter in your car, turn off the ventilation system.
  • 6. Avoid dust by not changing your clothes in your bedroom.
  • 7. Wash your hair and replace bedding before you go to bed.

Look after your health

Usually, a pollen allergy will not adversely affect your health in the short term. Nevertheless, it is important to seek advice from a doctor. In the long term, complaints that go untreated may lead to chronic asthma.


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