Hayfever season traditionally starts in May, but if you’re feeling bunged up already, it might not be your imagination.
As a result of global warming, scientists are warning that allergy season is arriving earlier and earlier each year. Trees and grasses are flowering sooner and the season is lasting longer, creating more of the pollen that irritates 18 million hayfever sufferers in the UK¹.
For those whose eyes are itchy at the thought, here’s a guide to combating hayfever season ahead of Allergy Awareness Week on the 20th April.
*It’s obvious, but monitor pollen forecasts: the count is generally higher on warmer, dry days. On high pollen days shut your windows and shake off your clothes when you come into the house. The best time to venture outside? After a rain storm when all the pollen has been washed from the air.
*Apply a balm or petroleum jelly to the edge of your nostrils to trap pollen and prevent reactions: GLOSSYBOX loves Hay Max Lavender Organic Balm, £7.10 for its subtle fragrance.
*Wear wraparound sunglasses to protect your eyes. Choose designs with wide arms, which are better at shielding eyes from pollen as well as skin-damaging UV rays.
*Pollen counts tend to be higher along roads with grass verges, such as dual carriageways and motorways, so keep your car windows closed and switch the air intake to recirculate when driving.
*Those with pets, stop any nuzzling: their fur traps pollen triggering reactions. Wipe dogs or cats’ coats down with a micro-fiber cloth to capture and remove what you can.
*Though the scientific community questions its efficacy, many hayfever sufferers claim that eating locally sourced honey reduces their hayfever symptoms. Holistic experts believe that exposure to honey rich in local pollen, desensitises sufferers to the pollen when it’s airborne.
¹According to Allergy UK