Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Natural hayfever relief

If you don't want to use conventional hayfever treatments, or you can't do so because of an underlying medical problem or pregnancy for example, there are other things a pharmacy can offer.

1. If you are suffering from a blocked nose, use a seawater, or saline, nasal spray (such as Aqua Maris or Sterimar Nasal Hygiene) - I find these very effective for a stuffy nose caused by both hayfever and a cold.  These are ideal for pregnant and breast-feeding women, children and people taking prescribed medicines for long-term medical conditions (e.g. diabetes, high blood pressure).

2. Limit how much pollen actually gets into your nose. With HayMax pollen barrier balm, you dab a small amount around your nostrils in the morning and evening to form a visible barrier. HayMax blocks pollen, dust and pet allergens too. Care Allergy Defence is a powder nasal spray that works by reacting with moisture within the nose, creating an invisible thin protective gel barrier. NasalGuard AllergieBlock Topical Gel also forms a protective barrier - the positively charged gel blocks negatively charged allergens on contact before they get a chance to enter your nose. Petroleum jelly (e.g. Vaseline) is also effective.

3. Pollen spreads easily in the air so it's difficult to avoid completely. But if all else fails, you could try these avoidance measures to reduce your pollen exposure:
  1. Check the pollen forecast every day (visit the Met Office website).
  2. Limit outdoor trips to rural areas - the seaside may be a better option as the sea breeze blows pollen inland
  3. If you do go out, remember to shower and wash your hair on your return and change your clothes.
  4. Keep your windows closed when indoors, especially in the early morning and early evening, as this is when pollen is highest.
  5. Wear wraparound sunglasses when outdoors to stop pollen flying into your eyes
For more advice on pollen exposure and treating hayfever, visit Allergy UK's website: www.allergyuk.org.

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