It’s the season to… sneeze, sniffle and cough. Spring has arrived and with that most plants have also decided to try and reproduce. To most people that means spending lots of time outside, enjoying those first rays of sunlight. To me and many others, it means hiding indoors with all doors and windows closed because hayfever allergies simply make it impossible to go outside. I’ve had hayfever for years, and until a few years ago, things weren’t that bad. But 5 years ago it caused me to have a sinus infection for 2 months straight, and it is the reason for my asthma. By now, because I sought treatment, I am doing better again, but still there are days where I am coughing up a storm after only getting some groceries. That means I have gathered quite a few tips to help me get through the worst. Today, I’d like to share those tips with you.
1.) Go see a doctor!
If all you have is a few snizzles, don’t, but the minute you notice your hayfever severely impairing your daily activities then go get help. Drugstore meds don’t work as well and if it’s really bad you may need asthma meds or get immunotherapy to try and lessen the symptoms. I’ve been doing the latter for more than 3 years and it does help, so get all the help you can from a professional first before trying any of these other tips.
My meds consist of pills and a nose spray. The pills help with itchiness and other general symptoms. The nose spray helps for both problems with your nose as well as eyes. I can take more pills if I need them, but I tend to take one in the morning and be pretty much fine all day if I’m just running errands. If I’m out all day I need more. The nose spray I only use once a day. I used to have more meds from the docs, but those didn’t help very well and so I switched those out for a different kind which you can find below.
2.) Keep all doors and windows closed as much as possible
The fewer you air your house while there is pollen galore, the better. The pollen will get caught in your house and those you’ll have no ‘safe’ place to go to. Also, try to avoid air conditioning as much as you can as it will affect your airways and make you more prone to allergies once you go out.
3.) Take a shower before going to bed
This will rinse off any pollen that has caught onto your hair and skin throughout the day and so you can sleep without coughing up a storm or waking up with a headache or infected sinuses.
4.) Stay hydrated
If I don’t stay hydrated I find I feel worse as my sinuses can get really dry. This leads to headaches and dizziness at times so I always make sure I drink plenty of water.
5.) Dry your laundry indoors
For the same reason as to why you shouldn’t open doors and windows: pollen will get caught on your clean clothes given you an allergic reaction just by putting on a clean shirt.
6.) Wear sunglasses/ glasses when you go out
Keep the pollen out of your eyes by wearing a pair of gigantic shades. The bigger, the better.
7.) Put some Vaseline on the rim of your nostrils so pollen can stick to that rather than enter your body
A new tip I found recently and which works wonders: just put some petroleum jelly on your nostrils to keep pollen from entering your nose. I definitely feel a difference. Oh and are you feeling winded just because you’ve been outside? Having your doctor look into asthma is a good thing as hayfever can develop into asthma as your lungs can be affected to. I use Ventolin whenever I work out, but also on days my hayfever gets really bad. I use the purple Seretide when my hayfever rears its ugly head on a more regular basis to keep my lungs from getting infected and cause me to feel even worse.
Asthma meds: Ventolin & Seretide
8.) Clean your sheets/ pillow cases often
This is linked to late night showers. If you sheets and pillows are clean, you again run a smaller chance of transferring pollen onto yourself and thus guarantee a good night’s sleep.
9.) Wear a different set of clothes every day (or at least change your shirt)
For the same reason you should clean your sheets: wearing a different set of clothes every day ensure your clothes are fresh and untainted by pollen.
10.) Long hair? Pull it up into a pony tail or a bun
Hair works like a net that catches the pollen as you walk down the street. So pull it up and you will find that it helps you just a tiny bit, but it does help.
11.) Buy a zinc-ointment to help with itchiness
Zinc-ointments (for sale for little money from your drugstore) are great against any type of itchiness. For me, I get itchy most inside my ears. Like right on the inside of the rim of my ears. It’s very frustrating and it is definitely not a sexy thing to be scratching inside your ear every other minute or so. I tend to use this mostly during months when I feel I need fewer to no meds as the itchiness inside my ears simply never goes away.
12.) Use homeopathic medicinal products in addition to regular meds
Do you find that your doc’s meds aren’t holding up? Instead of getting more drugs in addition to the ones you already have, consider looking into homeopathic products. Mostly you don’t real need meds, just some lubrication. Often a saline solution nosespray will do as well as some eye drops to keep you nose and eyes from running or going dry (mine do both at different times). Don’t use them too often, but just on a need-to basis.
Weleda Rhinodoron nose spray & A. Vogel Hooikoorts oogdruppels (hayfever eyedrops)
Ingredients (Top: A. Vogel, Bottom: Weleda)
These are the meds I am currently using in addition to my doctor’s meds. I have used them for a few years now and don’t want to go back to anything else. I only buy them once a year, during spring and they will last me for the couple of months that I need them (April – August mainly). Both the nose spray and eye drops are good for roughly 6 months and I don’t empty the containers so I only buy one of each every year. Currently I am using these at night when I feel slightly stuffy but nothing too major for a bout of ‘real’ meds.
13.) Rinse your nasal cavity with a saline solution
If things get really awful you will need more than a little spray to rid your nasal cavity of pollen. My ENT told me you can then rinse your nasal cavity with a saline solution. There are several contraptions on the market for doing this and it’s very unpleasant if the water isn’t at exactly the right temperature, but it does really help to prevent swelling of glands which could possibly lead to sinus infections.
14.) Prevent cross-allergic reactions
If you’re allergic to pollen, chances are you have more allergies that either trigger your hayfever or will simply develop over time. My wheat allergy for instance, could be connected to my hayfever. Anywho, any product that is made that contains pollen might potentially be a risk. For while I had an allergic reaction to apples (because apples grow on trees and I am allergic to tree pollen), but it is not unheard of to be allergic to different types of fruit as well. Check with your doctor if you want to know more.
15.) Get enough sleep
Last but not least is sleep. One thing that happens to me when I’m suffering from hayfever is that I get drowsy during the day. By bedtime I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck so getting plenty of sleep will is a must have for me. It makes me feel more alert and by the time I start to feel tired when I’m actually not tired, I know it’s my hayfever acting up.
Those are my tips for battling hayfever. Do you have any to add?
*** Some of these tips were also featured in an older article on here, but since I wrote that 2 years ago I thought it would be good to bring those back as well ***