Allergy Awareness Week runs every year in April just when the pollen count starts to peak; this year it runs from 26th April to 2nd May. A recent study we conducted alongside our partners Allergy UK, shows that nearly half (49%) of the UK population now suffer from hay fever. With more people than previously thought experiencing hay fever, it’s more important than ever that we know how to deal with the symptoms.
Insight from Allergy UK shows that stress and anxiety are closely linked to allergies and can make hay fever symptoms much worse. That’s why it’s so important not to just ‘get on with it’, but to reflect on how hay fever impacts your life, and more importantly, what you can do about it.
With lockdown restrictions lifting and peak pollen season on its way, you’d also be forgiven for worrying about spending more time outside. You’re not alone either - after all, itchy eyes and sneezing fits aren’t what anyone wants when they are in the park with their mates.
Our research shows 35% of hay fever sufferers are concerned about spending more time outdoors as restrictions are lifted, while 31% said their excitement about lockdown lifting has dampened because it is happening during peak pollen season.
So, in short, it’s completely normal if you’re feeling a bit apprehensive about the next trip to the pub garden, and we’re here to help.
Following these five easy steps is a great way to start managing your hay fever, but if you still find yourself struggling, remember to seek advice from a doctor or medical professional.
1. Schedule your daily outings carefully with Your Pollen Pal
Being caught by surprise can be the worst part of hay fever symptoms. Monitoring pollen levels daily, as well as a few days in advance, can help you plan ahead to manage your allergies and not find yourself in the park with no antihistamines or tissues!
Your Pollen Pal is one of the most regionally accurate pollen tracking tools available. It provides a detailed pollen count for all 1.7 million postcodes across the UK three days in advance, enabling those with hay fever to plan days out using pollen data specific to their local town or city, rather than a broad national forecast.
2. Consider your wardrobe choices
Accessories can play a really useful role in preventing pollen, dander and other airborne allergies from reaching your face, hair and importantly, eyes. Accessories like hats and wraparound sunglasses could be the perfect solution to making you feel more comfortable when you’re out, not to mention the fashion statement you’ve always wanted to make.
3. Try using an allergen balm
An alternative solution that many allergy sufferers find useful is applying an allergen barrier balm around the base of the nostrils that creates a barrier to airborne allergens. You can also try putting it around your sunglasses for further protection if you find that you’re a bit of a weeper when pollen strikes.
4. Shower when you get home
People often stop thinking about their hay fever once they’re indoors, but always remember pollen can stay on your skin and in your hair when you come back into the house. Take a shower as soon as possible when you return home and put the clothes you were wearing in the wash. It does mean there’s more laundry to do, but at least you’ll be more comfortable when folding those clothes!
5. Always carry a pack of tissues on you
For quick ways to relieve your hay fever symptoms, you can’t beat a tissue. Our Allergy Comfort tissues are designed to be gentle and ultra-absorbent for use around watery eyes and runny noses. They are available in convenient on-the-go soft packs, perfectly sized for any bag when you’re out and about this summer.
This article was written in April 2021.