About one in five people in the U.K. will suffer from hayfever this summer. Hayfever, or to give it it's technical name "pollinosis" is an allergic reaction to
pollen produced by plants and trees.
The pollen enters our bodies through our eyes, nose and mouth. Our bodies react
to this invasion by producing histamine, which is a chemical that encourages the
body to wash away the pollen. This is what leads to watering eyes, runny noses
and heavy sneezing. All that extra water is the bodies effort to wash away the
The condition was first recognised back in the early 1800's, and people have
been trying to find a cure ever since. Now if you've come looking for the magic
pill that will fix your hayfever, you won't find it here. But if you want a few
tips on how to avoid the worst of the symptoms, then try these...
1) There are certain times of the day when
pollen levels are at their highest. If you can avoid being outdoors at these
times you will be better off. Generally the pollen counts peak at between 9 a.m.
and 12 midday. Then they lower until about 5 p.m. when they rise until about 7
2) Start each day well with a good bath or
shower to remove any pollen which may have settled on your body during the
night. Then eat a good breakfast including fresh fruit, rich in vitamin 'C'. A
healthy breakfast will help the body's natural immune system to fight the
effects of hayfever.
3) Similarly at lunchtime, eat healthily.
Plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Avoid junk foods like chips and burgers.
Take extra multivitamins to help supplement the food.
4) Normally in the afternoon, the air
temperature is at its highest. The pollen is high in the air, well above head
height, so this is a good time to get outside for some fresh air.
5) In the early evening, temperatures start
to drop again, and so does the pollen. When you get home from work or school,
changing your clothes and washing will help remove any pollen you've picked up
during the day.
6) By around 8 p.m. most of the pollen will
have settled on the ground, and this is often the most comfortable time of the
day for hayfever sufferers. If you still feel a bit stuffy, try a face sauna.
Fill a bowl with hot water, put a towel over your head, then hold your face over
the the steam and breathe.
7) If you are tired the symptoms can become
much worse, so get a regular amount of sleep each night. Again this will help
your body's natural immune system fight the symptoms.
Photos and facts about British wild flowers