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Don’t hide yourself away – get out there with our simple tips
Step away from Facebook and look around you more – it could help your hayfever. According to researchers at Berkeley University, the feelings of awe, wonderment and other positive emotions you experience when you see something beautiful in nature or art may give your immunity a boost (it could help reduce the pro-inflammatory cytokines that trigger allergies). We’ll be walking the scenic route to work now…
It’s not just flowers, grass and trees that can cause hayfever. The soil in your favourite indoor foliage can create mould, sending spores into your environment and triggering those familiar snot ’n’ sneezing symptoms. Don’t want to get rid of your beloved plants? Some experts say spreading about two inches of aquarium gravel over the soil could help, while others claim that sand can work in the same way. And make sure you don’t overwater your plants, which can lead to mould growth – drain any excess by standing pots on saucers, and regularly check for under-pot leakage.
Yep, you read that right. A Japanese scientist asked participants in a study to kiss their partners for 30 minutes – half of them had mild atopic eczema (that’s the most common type, to you and me) and half had mild hayfever. After the mammoth snogging session, the hormone that triggers allergic responses was significantly reduced. Pucker up, people!
Smear Vaseline (or a barrier balm) around your nostrils to trap pollen and prevent it entering your nose. Eyes streaming more tears than when you last watched Beaches? Pat balm along the socket bone under your eyes, and even along the inside edge of your sunglasses – remember, wraparound styles are the best anti-pollen protectors.
In a survey of over 2,000 hayfever sufferers by the National Pollen and Aerobiology Research Unit, nearly seven in 10 people said symptoms made them feel seriously lousy when stressed. And, no surprise, easing stress soothed things considerably. A top calming aid? Exercise. Scientists believe it causes chemical changes in the brain to lift mood, as well as increasing self-esteem, self-control and the ability to rise to a challenge. Race you to the treadmill…
Your hayfever heroes
Soothe sore eyes with Optrex Hayfever Relief Eye Drops, £5.99/599 points (10ml); contains sodium cromoglicate; always read the label.Add
Consider taking antihistamines to treat the hayfever nasties. Benadryl Allergy One A Day 10mg Tablets, £9.99/999 points (30-pack); contains cetirizine dihydrochloride; for 12 years+; always read the label.Add
Help trap pollens and allergens with HayMax Pure Organic Drug-Free Allergen Barrier Balm, £6.99/699 points (5ml).Add
Stuffed-up nose? Give this all-natural unblocker a try. Puressentiel Respiratory Hypertonic Nasal Spray, £9.99/999 points (15ml).Add
Boots Ladies Crystal Brown Sunglasses, £10/1,000 points, can help shield your eyes from pollen.Available in larger stores
Words Danielle Hine Photography Getty Images, Pixeleyes