Pollen is flying around right now and many of us are suffering symptoms of hayfever, an allergic reaction to pollen. But with Covid-19 on everyone’s minds, there can be confusion in distinguishing the underlying cause of respiratory symptoms.
So here’s a breakdown:
|Shortness of breath||sometimes||not usually**|
|Sore throat||sometimes||‘itchy’ throat|
|Diarrhoea/ tummy pains||sometimes||no|
NB people with asthma may get short of breath with hayfever
If your symptoms match those of hayfever, which affects about one in five people in the UK, there are simple strategies that can help:
- Apply Haymax (or Vaseline) to the inside of your nose to trap pollen before you breathe it in. Haymax, £7.29/5ml.
- Dose yourself with Aller-DMG, formulated to help hayfever symptoms including itchy, watery eyes and a runny nose. Pharmacist Shabir Daya has been recommending this for years and it really works, in my experience. Aller-DMG, £19/60 tablets.
- If your eyes get sore and irritated, try A Vogel Eye Drops, which contains the herb eyebright to refresh and moisturise them, suggests Shabir Daya. These eye drops are suitable for contact lens wearers who can have particular problems with pollen and dust getting stuck behind the lens. A Vogel Eye Drops, £9.99/10ml.
- For stuffy noses, try Sinol-D All-Natural Nasal Spray Decongestant; unlike some products, this is non-habit forming and has been clinically proved to be effective. Sinol-D All-Natural Nasal Spray Decongestant, £14.95/15ml.
- In the garden or car, channel Jackie O and don your biggest wraparound sunglasses.
- When you come back indoors, do have a shower to rinse off pollen on hair or skin. Put clothes in the wash; don’t dry clothes outdoors where they may attract any pollen floating around.
- Check the Met Office Pollen forecast daily here; there’s also an App for your phone.
- Plan to go outside around midday when the pollen count tends to be lower.