The peak hay fever season during June, July and August can be a miserable time for those with allergies. When pollen levels are high, people with hay fever suffer with streaming noses, blocked and painful sinuses, and irritated eyes. Allergic reactions to pollen can worsen asthma and make going outside on warm sunny days a bad experience that is avoided.
Thankfully, there are plenty of things to do that can help reduce your suffering if you have hay fever.
During the hay fever season, the Met Office include information about the pollen count on the daily weather forecast. On days where there is a high pollen count, you may want to avoid going out as much.
The pollen count ranges from low to high and reflects the amount of pollen per cubic metre of air. It is measured at locations across the UK.
The Pollen Count varies across the year depending on the type of flowers which are active at any time. During the peak hay fever season in summer, high concentrations of pollen come from grasses and weeds. Hay fever symptoms are normally triggered when the pollen count exceeds fifty grains per cubic metre.
The pollen count can be affected by the weather – on breezy days grains of pollen are more likely to be carried into the air where they can come into contact with your eyes or be inhaled to cause a reaction.
For mild hay fever, a daily antihistamine tablet can be enough on most days to reduce the reaction. Antihistamines work by blocking the effects of a substance called Histamine that your body produces when your immune system detects an infection or something harmful. Histamine causes blood vessels and skin to swell up causing your nose to feel blocked and your eyes to water.
Even though one-a-day antihistamines are available in most supermarkets, it is still a good idea to speak to your GP before starting to take them to ensure that they would not affect any other medication you may be taking.
If you spend time outside during the day, pollen can get caught in your hair and will be transferred onto your pillow when you sleep. When this happens, you will start to feel the effects of your hay fever before you wake up in the morning.
Cleaning your hair thoroughly before you go to bed in the evening removes any pollen from the day before and will give you a better night’s sleep.
The more you can do to prevent pollen getting into your bedroom, the better. As washing your hair before bed stops pollen from getting onto your pillow, ensuring that you change into your pyjamas in the bathroom will stop any pollen that you are carrying on your clothes from being carried into your bed.
Maintaining good airflow through your home prevents pollen from building up during the day. Pollen can be carried into a building through open windows, or on the clothes and shoes of people walking in and out. Opening windows during the summer is important to keep the air in your home from becoming stale or too hot, but on days with a high pollen count it might not be possible to do so.
Whole House Ventilation Systems such as PIV can be specified to include filters that will capture any grains of pollen and prevent it from getting into your home. As air flows through the various rooms of your house, it will pick up any loose pollen that has already entered and carry it back outside where it cannot do any harm.
If you suffer from Hay Fever during the summer and want to reduce your symptoms, improving your home ventilation could be the answer. Talk to one of our local experts to book a free home survey to find out how we can help.
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