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Ways To Combat Summer Allergies

17 June 2022

Finally - summer’s here. The return of good weather and wildlife should be a blessing, but for those with allergies, it can often feel like more of a curse than anything else. While everyone else is enjoying the sunny season and going outside, struggling with allergies can lead you to stay inside more than you’d care for. But there’s no need to suffer. Aside from the regular courses of antihistamines that most allergy sufferers find themselves prescribed with, there are a number of non-medical interventions you can take to improve your conditions.

Don’t allow yourself to suffer through the finest months. Take the following steps to minimise the annoying effects of summer hay fever.

1. Identify your personal triggers

While the major contributors to seasonal allergies remain roughly the same for most people, individual triggers do vary from person to person. Perhaps you are able to identify certain triggers - such as particular types of grass or flowers - yourself, but it may be worth going to a doctor and getting a professional allergen test administered. Knowing your personal triggers allows you to make plans and organise your living situation so as to specifically minimise your exposure to the biggest causes of your allergic reactions.

2. Keep doors and windows closed

Allergy triggers have a nasty knack for finding their way into the home. Reduce the risk of bringing triggers into the home by keeping doors and windows closed whenever you can. Especially if there’s a breeze afoot, an open window can mean a single gust of wind could leave your home filled with those pesky irritants. Make sure to keep an eye on the pollen count day to day, as this will make keeping the doors and windows especially important.

3. Avoid the following plants

Not all plants are equally responsible for the irritation suffered by those with allergies. There are some plants that are far more likely to be the cause behind your woes than others. Learning how to identify the most common triggers will help you to steer clear next time you’re in a park or looking to do some gardening. These are the plants you should be most wary of:

Flowers:

● Chamomile

● Chrysanthemum

● Daisies

● Sunflowers

● Dahlias

● Ragweed

Trees:

● Ash

● Beech

● Cedar

● Elm

● Sycamore

● Willow

● Poplar

● Hickory

Grasses:

● Bermuda

● June

● Redtop

● Perennial Rye

● Orchard

Weeds:

● Ragweed

● Russian thistle

● Sagebrush

● Pigweed

● English plantain

4. Invest in an air filter

An air filter is a great practical solution for removing pollutants from your home, as pollutants only serve to aggravate the potency of summer pollen and irritants in the air.

5. Regularly wash hair and clothing

Irritants such as pollen can easily attach themselves to your clothes and hair. Make sure to take regular showers and do laundry as regularly as possible in order to minimise the chances of exposure to your triggers. Be sure to regularly clean household fabrics such as rugs, carpets, blankets and curtains, as hidden pollens build up and create dust that’s ripe for triggering allergies.    

6. Reduce humidity inside the home

Humidity indoors severely increases the chances of irritants triggering an uncomfortable reaction. Allergy researchers suggest using a dehumidifier to keep indoor humidity limited to between 30% and 50% in order to stop pollen drifting around the room and triggering a nasty reaction.

7. Pick up eye drops and nasal spray

If you suffer the typical symptoms of summer allergies, which usually include a runny nose, nasal discomfort, congestion, headaches, and sore, swollen, or dry eyes - your local pharmacy can provide easy and effective over-the-counter relief. Nasal sprays that clear congestion help to relieve a runny nose and ease congestion, while eye drops specifically designed for allergy-sufferers are a relieving solution to dry and itchy eyes.

8. Make an effort to reduce contact with the eyes

If you spend time outside, it’s more than likely you’ll end up coming into contact with the very pollen that causes your discomfort and triggers allergic reactions. Make sure to regularly wash your hands and take extra care to refrain from touching your face - especially your eyes. Pollen can all too easily transfer from your hands to your eyes and cause extra discomfort that could easily have been avoided.

9. Dry your washing inside ​​

Should you dry your washing outside, it’s likely that your laundry will come into contact with airborne pollutants, which will cause irritation once they’re brought into the home. Avoid this extra exposure and dry your washing inside on a clothes horse.

10. Stay cool

If you still find yourself suffering the effects of summer allergies, you can relieve the discomfort by placing a cold, cool towel over your face. 10 minutes should be enough to relieve headaches and congestion, and reduce itchiness in the eyes and sinuses.

Though they’re certainly a pain, summer allergies need not signal the end to enjoying a summer outdoors. Simply learn your specific triggers you have and practise these symptom-relieving strategies and you’ll find yourself much more at ease in the summer sun.