This year’s weather has been confused and conflicted – and now that it is June and the sun is threatening to shine I can see massive clouds of pollen in the air.  I hear patients, friends and family all complaining about itchy eyes, runny noses, headaches, sore throats and general feelings of malaise.  Usually June’s key culprits are weeds, grass, plantain, pine, oak and oilseed – but I know people with specific allergies to birch and plane trees (which pollinate earlier in the year) who are suffering symptoms right now.

Some tips to help you avoid the worst:

  • Keep your windows closed – this keeps the pollen out!  If you have to open a window, cover your bed (or certainly your pillows) with a spare sheet that you can remove when you get into bed at night.
  • After coming in from outside, take a shower and change your clothes.  Some days it is so bad that this is what it takes – get rid of the pollen you’ve brought in with you.
  • Avoid cut grass – 95% of people with hay fever are allergic to grass.
  • Wear wrap around sunglasses to keep pollen out of your eyes.
  • Save outdoor work for cool, damp and rainy days – hot and windy weather makes symptoms worse.
  • For lots of reasons, avoid smoking, polluted streets and heavy alcohol use – they will make your hay fever worse.
  • If your symptoms are very bad, consider short term use of a nasal spray or antihistamine.  Natural ways of reducing your predisposition for inflammation can be discussed in a nutritional consultation with me, but key things to avoid include alcohol, fried foods, and excess sugar.

You can plan ahead by checking the pollen forecast, and if you want to discuss more ways of helping yourself feel better and enjoy the British Summer just book in to discuss it with me.

Pollen in the UK