Sarah’s Health Notes: Hay Fever Helpers
Pollen is starting to fly around already and many of us are suffering from the symptoms of hay fever. This allergic reaction affects about one in five people in this country (including me, who is already snuffling, and pharmacist Shabir Daya, who is not…yet).
Last year there was confusion over the symptoms of hay fever and Covid-19. Hopefully, there will be much less this year with so many fewer cases of Covid, due to vaccination. But just to be belt and braces, the main symptoms of hay fever are the following:
- Runny/stuffy nose
- Itchy/watery eyes
- Itchy/sore throat
Sometimes sufferers (like me) experience:
- Blocked ears
People with asthma may also get short of breath with hay fever.
There are simple, non-drug 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 for 5ml.
• Dose yourself with Aller-DMG, formulated to help hay fever symptoms including itchy, watery eyes and a runny nose. Pharmacist Shabir Daya has been recommending this for years and it really works, in our experience.
Aller-DMG/£20 for 60 tabs.
• For stuffy noses, try Sinol-D All-Natural Nasal Spray Decongestant; unlike some products, this is non-habit forming and has been clinically proven to be effective. Currently, I am feeling very grateful for this.
Sinol-D All-Natural Nasal Spray Decongestant/£14.95 for 15ml.
• If your eyes get sore and irritated, try A Vogel Eye Drops, with the herb eyebright to refresh and moisturise them, suggests Shabir. 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 for 10ml.
• 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 pollen forecast daily; the Met Office launches their Pollen forecast on Wednesday 24th March. Find it via metoffice.gov.uk.
• Plan to go outside around midday when the pollen count tends to be lower.
There’s also a sweet solution that may help. The late Professor Jonathan Brostoff, an eminent immunologist, recommended I take a dose of local honey as a natural ‘vaccine’. I used to go off on my horse to collect supplies – popping jars of deliciousness in my pockets for the ride home. Sadly, my horse is now nearly blind so pony express isn’t on the cards but the honey still is so I'm laying in stocks!