As most of you know hay fever is the bane of my life, every April to September without fail my life becomes a snotty, eye itching misery. It came to a head three years ago where bog standard hay fever started to morph into food allergies, hives and seasonal asthma – fun times!.
I made some radical changes to my garden, I can’t get rid of all the grass and trees but I could alter what I planted close to the house.
Then last winter I was flicking through my phone and I came across a picture of my patch testing and I remembered that apparently I’m as allergic to milk as I am to trees, shrubs and weeds….but I’ve never had a reaction to milk, ever! Whereas all the others I most certainly have!
Then I was reading about the new treatments for peanut allergy which involve being exposed to tiny amounts of peanut. I’ve never stopped drinking milk or eating dairy and I wondered if that’s why I’ve never had a reaction to milk? The very first summer I had hayfever I was 17 and it was also the first summer I didn’t spend every single moment outside, because I was a too cool teen. So could that be it?
Obviously this is very very not scientific and is me guessing, but I thought why not try something with pollen? So all the flowers that had been banned from the house, I brought back in to the lounge and all the living areas, house plants were brought back too. And then I’ve attempted to spend at least an hour outside in the garden every day since December mostly in 20 minute chunks with the dog and a little teaspoon of local honey. And you know what….this last weekend beginning of JUNE is the first time I’ve needed either eye drops or an antihistamine! And I’ve only needed one tablet so far which is a miracle because normally I’m on every antihistamine drug there is by now!
I don’t think it’s cured by any means, but it’s a lot better and I’ve had two less months of misery, which has been worth all the times I’ve stood in the cold in the garden all winter and spring!
But in the meantime if you are miserable and sneezing here are some top tips from Boots:
Angela Chalmers, Boots UK Pharmacist explains: “Many people with hay fever wait until their symptoms strike before they take action, but the earlier you prepare, the better. Here are some things you can do ahead of time:
1) Speak to your pharmacist now so they can determine the right treatment for your personal symptoms so you can put an effective routine in place before the pollen count rises
2) Nasal sprays should be used throughout the season for them to work effectively, not just when your nose starts twitching!
3) Some eye drops can be used ahead of time to help reduce symptoms, so it is never too early to start a protection routine
4) Remember that your sunglasses can help too so include them in your prevention plans – they act as physical guard against pollen exposure around the sensitive eye area and are an easy way to stay protected on the school run or commute
And here are my top tips
1. I’d also add don’t hang your washing out on the line collecting pollen, for you to then wear or lie in more pollen inside.
2. Wash your hair/have a shower as soon as you come in from outside on high pollen days, it really helps
3. Nice cold flannel over your itchy eyes does help a lot.
4. Get a sensitive eye cream to put around the skin on your eyes at night, helps them not be so red and sore.
Have a good non itchy Summer!