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A runny nose, itchy eyes, a persistent cough and feeling fatigued; it can only mean one thing, it’s hay fever season. If you suffer from hay fever, you’ll know that feeling of looking forward to the warmer weather whilst simultaneously dreading it because you know what’s coming. Beautiful flowers are in full bloom and people are cutting their grass ready to spend their days chilling out in the garden. All of this means that pollen is floating about everywhere, just the thought makes my nose itch. Here are some of the tips I follow to provide relief for hay fever symptoms – a lot of these tips also work really well with common colds, just FYI.
Tip 1: Stock Up On Throat Sweets
A few weeks ago, I was kindly sent a tin of Grether’s Pastilles* to try out. I tried the sugar-free blueberry flavoured pastilles but they also do redcurrant, elderflower and blackcurrant flavours in both regular and sugar-free versions. These are perfect for soothing a sore throat which is something I constantly suffer from when my hay fever is in full swing. The pastilles contain glycerine and fruit juice which coat your vocal chords, pretty much like a bandage for your throat. I always get an itchy, tickly throat that causes me to have a persistent cough so these help to calm down coughing fits as well as helping with any soreness afterwards. I feel like some throat sweets taste a little bit overpowering but these just taste like a normal sweet, I have to stop myself from eating the whole tin because they’re so tasty.
Tip 2: Carry Mouthwash With You
As gross as it is, having hay fever can make you really congested with mucus from a post-nasal drip which settles on the back of your throat. This can cause bad breath as the mucus attracts food bacteria, something that you might not even notice but I always get really paranoid about. Besides the obvious brushing your teeth to try and keep this at bay, gargling mouthwash can help to eliminate this. I’ve been using The Breath Co’s Fresh Breath Oral Rinse* which I’ve found to be such a perfect solution to the problem. A lot of mouthwashes claim to be the best at getting rid of bad breath but this mouthwash actually makes a noticeable difference. I pour some of this into a travel sized bottle to pop in my handbag; when you’re coughing up nastiness all day, this is really handy to refresh your breath and take away that horrible taste in your mouth. It also means I can eat those garlic stuffed olives at lunch without worrying about how much I’ll stink afterwards – always a plus.
Tip 3: Have a Meds Supply
This is probably one of the most obvious tips but regularly taking anti histamines (as required by the instructions on the box) really helps to relieve hay fever symptoms. It’s ideal to have a box in your handbag and around your working environment so that you’ve always got some handy. As well as anti histamines, I absolutely swear by Lemsip Cold & Flu drink sachets for relieving a lot of the problems that come with hay fever. They’re particularly good first thing in the morning when everything is sore and congested, as well as before bed to help you get a better night’s sleep without waking up coughing constantly. Again, I always have some sachets handy at home as well as at work for whenever I need some relief.
Tip 4: Clean Your House Regularly
When prime hay fever season comes around, I make sure to take extra care to keep everything clean. Not that I don’t clean my house anyway, but it’s especially important when the pollen count is higher. You’re constantly bringing in pollen from outside into your home on your clothing and hair so it’s important to regularly wash things like bed sheets and blankets so that you’re not constantly around a build-up of it. It can help to wash your hair before bed so that you’re not sleeping on a pillow covered in pollen as this can make hay fever symptoms ten times worse. It helps to regularly wipe down and dust all surfaces as well, especially if you keep your windows or patio doors open when the weather’s nice as pollen will get blown indoors.
Tip 5: Wear Sunglasses Whilst Out and About
I find itchy, watery eyes to be one of the most annoying things about hay fever as I always end up with mascara running down my face and red eyes from rubbing them. Although wearing sunglasses doesn’t completely eliminate pollen getting into your eyes, it definitely lessens it particularly when you’re walking around grassy areas. I’ve found that this also helps if I’m suffering from hay fever related fatigue as the sun does make me feel a lot more worn out, so sunglasses prevent the light from being so harsh (of course, that’s their job).
Do you have any of your own tips for conquering hay fever?