Hay fever warning: Pollen levels 'high this weekend' - How to avoid symptoms - Times of activity

Hay fever warning: Pollen levels ‘high this weekend’ – How to avoid symptoms – Times of activity

The Met Office has predicted a spike in pollen counts across England and Wales this weekend, leaving people with hay fever, lung diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) at risk of ‘life-threatening’ flare-ups. High pollen levels are expected to decrease from Monday, but what can you do in the meantime to control symptoms? Here’s how to control allergies this weekend.

Each year around 49 per cent of the UK population experiences unpleasant hay fever symptoms, but they can be much worse for people with long-term conditions.

Research by Asthma and Lung UK has found that pollen can trigger symptoms such as wheezing, chest tightness and shortness of breath in more than half (59 percent) of people with asthma and more than a quarter of people with COPD.

With a high pollen count expected to plague parts of the UK over the weekend, the charity urged people to “start treatment quickly” in order to “beat the symptoms”, but what exactly can you do to protect yourself?

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Take preventive or maintenance treatments as prescribed

If you tend to forget to take regular medications like your preventer inhaler, now is the time to take it more seriously.

Check the packaging for how often you should take the prescribed ingredient and make sure you stick to the correct dosing times and frequency.

Asthma and Lung UK explained that this will prevent your lungs from responding to pollen, adding that it is “more important” for asthmatics.

“Asthma prevention inhalers contain a low dose of steroid, which reduces inflammation that can be caused by pollen and other triggers,” the charity said.

Reducing inhalers to relax muscles in the airway should also be carried in the event of a flare-up.

If you prefer to use non-drug antihistamine treatments, there are plenty of fruits, vegetables, and herbs that can be taken in capsule or tablet form instead.

Holland and Barrett recommended the following:

  • Quercetin Supplements
  • Nettle tea
  • Vitamin C – Citrus fruits and supplements
  • fish oil supplements

Health Food Store Warning While these remedies have been shown to work against allergies in some cases, they may take a little longer (about two weeks) to work when compared to pharmaceutical antihistamines.

For this reason, it is best to use them as a preventative measure rather than an immediate treatment.

Use painkillers around your nose and mouth

Although you can buy balms designed specifically to treat hay fever symptoms, lip balm or Vaseline works well for this hack.

Use the sticky balm to dab on the skin around the edge of each nostril and on your lips to help trap or prevent pollen and other allergens from entering your body.

Get rid of contact lenses

According to indoor air quality specialists at Daikin, wearing contact lenses during peak pollen periods can sometimes cause more irritation if your eyes are sensitive and prone to watering.

To keep symptoms under control, they recommended swapping out contact lenses for prescription glasses or sunglasses instead.

Not only will this reduce eye irritation, but it will also prevent pollen from getting into your eyes in the first place.

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2022-05-13 16:40:58

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