Pollen count: This clever hack may keep hay fever symptoms at bay
Pollen count is based on the measurement of the number of grains in a cubic metre of the air. Hay fever sufferers will often experience worse symptoms when the count is high. This is usually when it reaches around 50. The Met Office have forecasted HIGH levels of pollen for the South of England including Wales. This means that people suffering with allergies will experience worse symptoms. MEDIUM levels of pollen have been forecasted for the Midlands including some parts of Scotland. The Highlands will experience a low pollen count.
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When the count is high like it is forecasted for today, allergy and hay fever sufferers should take measures to help alleviate their symptoms.
Typical symptoms will include sneezing, headaches, itchy eyes and even inflamed ears.
Hay fever is also known as allergic rhinitis and it happens when the body is allergic to pollen.
Pollen is a fine powder from plants but there are different types of allergies including grass pollen, weed pollen and tree pollen.
Grass pollen season is approaching in around a week and therefore sufferers should start taking preventative measures now.
Specsavers Clinical Services Director Giles Edmonds says: “Allergic reactions can affect the lining of the middle ear via the Eustachian tube, which links the middle ear to the nose and throat.
“If this becomes blocked it can lead to a build-up in pressure, which can cause discomfort, popping in the ears, earache and impair your ability to hear.”
Giles explains that using a barrier balm to trap the pollen can help hay fever sufferers.
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He says: “To avoid irritation, try putting a balm like Vaseline around the nose to trap pollen, and vacuum and dust your home regularly, or you can try over-the-counter allergy relief.
“Staying inside when the pollen count is high will also help irritation, and showering and changing your clothes when you get home will help to remove pollen from skin and hair.”
Any type of petroleum jelly can be used around the nostrils and this will work as a barrier in which the pollen will get trapped.
It also can work under the eyes to prevent them getting runny and itchy too.
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You should change it often, especially if you have been outside and been in contact with pollen.
The Met Office warned areas in the South of England that the pollen count will be high today and so sufferers should avoid going outside at all if they can.
However if you need to go outside, try putting a thin layer of petroleum jelly around your nose.
You could even try putting a little bit inside your nostrils in case some pollen manages to get through the first barrier.
The hack may feel weird to begin with but hay fever sufferers have said that the hack does actually work.
However, as well as this, when the pollen count is forecasted to be high, sufferers should take other measures to help their symptoms.
These include antihistamines, eye drops and nasal sprays. Antihistamines can be purchased over the counter at your local pharmacy as well as eye drop and nasal sprays.
A change in diet when you have allergies is also advised and incorporating foods like fatty fish and yoghurt can help keep hay fever symptoms at bay.
The pollen count tends to be high when the weather is warm or windy and pollen counts are usually higher in the early morning and late evening, although they can be sometimes high all day long.
You can check the accurate pollen count for your local area here: https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/warnings-and-advice/seasonal-advice/pollen-forecast#?date=2020-05-27
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