How can I minimise allergies that flare up in summer?
Summer can be just as stressful as spring for hayfever and allergy sufferers. Many allergenic grasses and weeds pollinate through the warmest months,1 which can trigger itching, sneezing, runny noses and other hayfever symptoms for some. In addition, indoor allergens like dust mites tend to thrive in warm humid temperatures.2 Although mould isn’t strictly seasonal, growth is often encouraged by warmth and humidity, and is therefore most prevalent during the humid months of the year,3 and can trigger allergic symptoms in susceptible people.
Unfortunately, hayfever symptoms tend to coincide with the time of the year when many people are outdoors frequently or on holiday enjoying the warmer temperatures and longer days. Hayfever sufferers can also enjoy the warmer months with a bit of planning and taking some preventative measures.
- Check the pollen forecast on the Telfast Hayfever Meter, TV or newspaper and avoid going outside when pollen counts are high. Alternatively, arm yourself with a non-drowsy antihistamine for fast‐acting relief.
- Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from allergenic grass or weed pollen.
- Replace your lawn with bricked or paved areas where possible.4
- Splash your eyes regularly with cold water to flush out any pollen.4
- Dry bed linen and clothes indoors when pollen counts are high.
- If you are sensitive to any particular weeds or trees near your bedroom window have them removed.1
- Smear Vaseline on the inside of your nose to stop pollen from touching the nasal lining,4 and causing itchy eyes, a runny nose and sneezing.
- Plan a beachside holiday or if the budget allows, consider a trip abroad to get a few weeks of relief from your hayfever symptoms.
- Keep the windows closed in your car and use recirculating air conditioning where possible.1
- Bathe when you arrive home to wash any residual pollen off your skin.
- If dust mites are your hayfever trigger ‐ use dust mite covers on your bedding, vacuum regularly with a machine that has a HEPA filter, do not keep animals in the bedroom, have a bath or shower before going to bed and avoid eating in bed or on soft furnishings where dust mites abound.5
- If moulds are the culprit for your summer hayfever flare‐ups – keep your yard free of fallen leaves and garden debris, avoid using bark and garden mulches around plants and in gardens, keep bathrooms well‐ventilated and dry by installing an exhaust fan if necessary, avoid having too many indoor plants, keep your fridge drip‐tray clean and discard piles of paper, magazines or newspapers as they absorb moisture and encourage mould growth.3