If come springtime you find yourself constantly on the verge of a sneeze, are battling with eyes and a throat that are always itchy, unable to function at 100 per cent because your head feels like it’s shrouded in fog, or (heaven forbid) all four, you’re probably one of the estimated three million Australians who suffer from hayfever.
This common seasonal allergy can be debilitating for some people, and while there is no cure there are many ways you can relieve the symptoms and sometimes stop them before they completely take over.
The best approach is a combined attack – not just investing in an over-the-counter antihistamine, nasal spray, or perhaps whatever your GP, immunologist, acupuncturist, dietitian or other health professional has recommended, but also by limiting your exposure to pollen in the first place.
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Here are some tried and true tips that may work for you.
Keep a jar of Vaseline by the bed. Before you hop out of bed in the morning, line just inside each nostril with a thin layer of the stuff. This effectively traps pollen from further entering the nasal passages – it’s the pollen from grasses, weeds and trees that commonly cause spring allergies, as it’s this time of year some species flower and subsequently release pollen into the air. The pollen count is effected by factors such as the past winter’s rainfall and whether your live in a nature wonderland or a concrete jungle.
Be smart about your daily movements. While your spring allergies mightn’t make you bedbound, they can seriously impact that meeting you have after lunch, or the kid’s party you’re hosting at the local park. So be smart about the streets you choose to walk during your lunch break, or where you place the picnic rug – right near a row of plane trees or flowering jasmine vine might have you unraveling at the seams. It’s also a smart idea to check the pollen count in your area, which you can do online at various websites.
Embrace the notion of spring cleaning. Spring allergies can also be triggered by mould, animal fur and house dust. So more than ever, this is the season to keep on top of daily household tasks. Wash your pet, vacuum rugs and carpets, and if you’re particularly susceptible to hayfever, have someone else in the house do these tasks instead.
Also give the job of mowing the lawn to another person, and if you must hang your washing outside (because let’s face it, it’s often perfect drying weather and you’ve probably just spent winter in a house resembling a launderette), ask someone else to take the washing off the line and fold it – it’s likely to be covered in pollen.
Above all, don’t forget to consult your doctor if you’re at all concerned about how to properly manage your spring allergies.