Sarah’s Health Notes: A-a-a- Tishoo! You Need Hay Fever Helpers!

Sarah’s Health Notes: A-a-a- Tishoo! You Need Hay Fever Helpers!

It’s a sneezy, itchy, head-blurring time for hay fever sufferers, with gardens finally bursting into bloom and the fields alive with wildflowers – just hear those bees a-buzzing…. But with Wimbledon starting next week, 28th June, the likely hazard will be grass pollen, the most common allergen.

We tend to think of dry hot weather as the most hazardous for hay fever so sufferers tend to pray for rain. But, as my husband who’s a long-term sufferer of allergic rhinitis can confirm, not all rain is equal. Gentle rain does tend to stop pollen spreading through the air and into eyes and noses – but heavy downpours, such as we’ve been having in the West Country, can have the opposite effect. Research shows that heavy rain seems to whip up more pollen in the air, especially if it’s windy too. And the humid heat of thunderstorms is another heady problem for hay fever sufferers.

The ten to 30% of the population with hay fever (which includes me) know the array of possible symptoms - sneezing, blocked/runny nose, itchy dry throat plus sore pink watering eyes, blocked sinuses and niggly headache – which can really nix your enjoyment and put a blot on the landscape.

So here are some natural products that have been shown to be helpful:

HayMax Pure, £7.29: Simple and effective, this organic and drug free nasal balm forms a pollen barrier to trap pollen before it gets in. Don't worry: no one can see it!

Sinol-D All-Natural Nasal Spray Decongestant, £12: this clinically proven mist helps clear congestion and relieves sinus pain and headaches. It can be used through the day as needed and doesn't interfere with prescription meds so is fine for people with high blood pressure, diabetes and thyroid disease.

A Vogel Eye Drops, £9.99: with hyaluronic acid and eyebright (euphrasia) to calm and moisturise irritated sore dry eyes; helps provide relief from watery eyes and comfort against grittiness.

Eye Logic Eye Spray, £12.95: you use this spray on closed eyelids and it’s fine with eye make up and for contact lens wearers. It contains soy lecithin to alleviate dryness and itchiness. (It was formerly sold as Clarymist – and my brother in law was a great fan when it was mowing time.)