This year, it has been reported that the U.K. is set to experience its highest pollen count in over a decade, you could’ve fooled me… Not! I’ve been suffering with hay fever since around the age of 9 or 10 and I don’t use the term suffer in jest either. People often act like hay fever isn’t a big deal, especially when they don’t have it. “Oh you’ve got hay fever, you poor thing” or “it’s only hay fever” is what I’m used to hearing but having been afflicted with midyear allergies for most of my life I can tell you, hay fever really isn’t something to sneeze at, corny, I know.
Most years since my tender youth, there comes a time whereby I have cold like symptoms for what feels like an eternity. This has proven to be a problem because I love being outside underneath the spring/summer sunshine, in a park with a nice cold drink or an ice cream staring at the sky, guessing what shapes the clouds are making, as birds fly overhead and the hum of dragonflies and other flying insects is juxtaposed with the ambient sound of the wind rustling the hedges and trees. A very vivid image I’ve painted here because I’d like for you to now imagine this beautiful scene but with the itchiest eyes, that you can’t bear to touch but need to itch all at the same time. Not to mention the headaches caused by blocked nostrils and inflamed sinuses that decide to go on runs whenever they feel like it – which truthfully can result in some embarrassing booger filled situations. Hay fever can turn the best days into the worst. At 11 I even developed asthma as a direct result of my hay fever but I didn’t think much of it. This year however, when my good friend and dad were certain that bee propolis, and garlic, honey and lemon were the perfect remedies for hay fever but then were coughing, sneezing and itching their eyes just as much as me, I’d had enough.
It’s been really bad this year, probably the worst I’ve ever experienced. Tube journeys were agony and none of my antihistamine tablets provided the relief I sought for longer than a few hours at most. It caught me at the worst time ever this year. In a new position with more responsibility than ever before but I was certain I was on the brink of death. Not being able to breathe, the constant headaches and the simple fact that there is no known cure.
What is hay fever exactly?
According to the NHS, Hay Fever is simply a reaction to pollen, a powder based substance that comes from plants, when it comes into contact with the body, particularly the eyes, nose, throat and mouth. It affects approximately 20 million Brits (a far larger portion of the population than I thought because I rarely find fellow sufferers and is more prominent) and tends to be worse in areas that are warm, windy and humid usually between late march and September. There are different types of pollen and ‘grass pollen’ is the type that affects 95% of hay fever sufferers in the U.K.
There are currently no known cures for hay fever, but it seems there will forever be pollen around, that is unless us humans do really use up all the grass and trees to build fancy buildings, which for a few months if the year, I can agree with if it means I can get a good nights sleep. Having suffered for many years I can impart some methods for fending of the hay fever symptoms :-
Over the counter medication: Benadryl, Piriton/Piriteze, loratidine, Claritin, Flixonase, cyterozine hydrochloride.
Drinking a tea with the real Honey, Lemon, Ginger, Garlic juice
Day and Night Nurse tablets
The above are just the my personal ways of combatting hay fever. The NHS also suggest the following tips on how to manage hay fever:-
Applying Vaseline on areas that can be affected like the nose to trap pollen
Glasses to prevent pollen getting into the eyes
Staying indoors where possible
Showering to rinse away pollen
Washing clothes regularly to wash off pollen
So the best way to manage hay fever if you’ve already got it, is to avoid it where you can or you can always consult your GP if yours seems to be getting out of control like mine. This way, you can be prescribed with steroids or stronger medication to handle reactions. I really ought to book that appointment now. *coughs*
If this resonates with you ad you need advice on treating your allergies, please follow the links below.