Unfortunately for many of us who suffer with the symptoms of hayfever, this time of year means trying and often trialling ways of best managing the symptoms.
There are many ‘triggers’ of hayfever; all of which begin with the body’s immune system launching an attack on the trapped microscopic allergen particles caught within the sufferer’s eyes or nose; which in turn cause eye or nasal passage inflammation in the sufferer.
Common Symptoms include:
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Running nose
- Itchy throat
- Running nose and/or Nasal congestion
This type of allergen is usually seasonal and tends to occur more often in the Spring and Summer months when the pollen count is high – usually due to flowers, grasses & trees. In addition, windy days may blow the pollen around causing the pollen to travel further and be more concentrated in the air.
- Animal hair or pet dander
This is common where pets are kept within the home. As with humans, animals shed hair and skin cells on a daily basis which may then accumulate within the home. This then increases the risk of being exposed to this type of allergen. This type of trigger may also relate to another common one: Dust Mite.
- Dust Mite
These microscopic mites feed on the dead skin cells commonly found within most homes (household dust) from humans. Not only due to the presence of the dust mites themselves but also from their secretions, these mites may trigger allergic symptoms in some people.
Unfortunately hay fever triggered by allergens found around the home may occur all year round however there are some simple steps you can take to help minimise their presence in your home:
- Regularly vacuuming floors and furniture to ensure dust is kept to a minimum. Consider a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter (HEPA standing for high-efficiency particulate absorbing). These filters are particularly effective
- Wiping down all hard surfaces with a damp cloth regularly. This will help to pet dander and skin cells to a minimum in addition to reducing dust mite populations and their droppings within the home.
- Installing an air filter or utilising a portable one to reduce the number of allergen particles in the air.
As it is harder to control the allergens of seasonal hayfever such as pollen, simple steps such as staying indoors & keeping your home windows closed when lawns are being mowed or on windy days when pollen may be blown around in the air. There are however also many effective medications that can help relieve the symptoms in addition to treatments. Some sufferers also recommend trying a Neti pot or saline nasal spray, however always consult your GP or medical professional before starting any treatment plan or medication.