NCTV Episode 62
Continuing with the series of bitesize health tip videos which can be found here on my YouTube Channel, this episode, includes:-
- Information about the three seasons of hay fever
- Symptoms / causes
- 7 Preventative measures
- Medical treatments & non-drug interventions
- The busting of the local honey myth (sorry)
If you’d prefer to read the content within, rather than watch the video, then feel free to read the transcript, as follows:-
Hello and welcome to NCTV Episode 62 which is about what you can do to combat hay fever.
I know for many that this will be timely advice given that we are in the middle of June (at the time of recording this) and the pollen count has been particularly high over the last few weeks to the point at which many people are at a loss as to what they can do about it.
The first thing to know about hay fever is that there are three main types being tree pollen, grass pollen and weed pollen.
Fortunately, we are over the tree pollen phase now which occurs in the spring so if you had hay fever badly then, you know that tree pollen was the culprit.
Hay fever at the start of summer (which is where we are now) can be attributed to grass pollen and it’s worth noting that this is what affects 80% of people who suffer from hay fever.
If you get it badly in the autumn then that will be down to the weed pollen.
There are a few reasons why it appears more people are seemingly suffering from it this year but this is not necessarily down to the pollen being any worse than usual. Firstly, with it still being in COVID-times, a lot of allergy sufferers appointments (as with people with many other medical needs) have had to be delayed or postponed. People’s perception of the symptoms can also be far worse when you’ve spent so much time indoors locked down or isolating. Another reason, up until the last few days at least, we were experiencing a combination of warm temperatures with gentle winds which are the perfect conditions for the spreading of pollen.
So if you’re one of the one in five people who experience hay fever at some point in the your life then you’ll know you have it because your symptoms will include sneezing, a runny nose, itchy eyes, headache, shortness of breath and tiredness.. This tends to affect people more who have a family history of allergies such as asthma or eczema.
Effectively what happens with hay fever is that in the pollinating season, this fine powder is released from plants which upon contact with our eyes, nose, throat and sinuses, causes irritation, swelling and inflammation at those sites. Sinuses, by the way, are small air-filled cavities behind your cheekbones and forehead.
If you do suffer from hay fever, the good news is that symptoms tend to improve as you get older, which may not be much consolation for you if you have it badly right now, however, whilst there’s no cure for hay fever, here are some of the things you can do to relieve the symptoms:-
Starting off with self-help tips, there are a few things you can do to prevent getting symptoms such as:-
1) Wearing a hat wrap-around sunglasses to protect your eyes from the pollen when outdoors
2) Taking a shower and changing your clothes after being outdoors to remove the pollen from your body
3) Staying inside and closing your windows and doors can help when the pollen count is high
4) Applying a small amount of Vaseline to the nose openings to trap the pollen
5) Avoid hanging your washing outside, again when the pollen count is high, as your clothes will get covered in it
6) Vacuum & dust regularly
7) Wash your pets fur when they come in from outside or just keep them outside for as long as possible
Whilst hay fever doesn’t pose a serious threat to health, when severe it can greatly affect a person’s quality of life by disrupting their productivity at school or work. It can also lead to sinusitis or a middle ear infection in children.
If you do find you need to some extra help from the GP or pharmacy then the likes of over-the-counter medications, corticosteroids or immunotherapy will usually be advised. When it comes to antihistamines in the form or tablets, solutions, nasal sprays or eye drops then the more modern non-sedating type would be advisable (for example, cetirizine, loratadine and fexofenadine).
A popular non-drug intervention involves washing out the nose with a saline solution which is also obtainable at the pharmacy. Many people also find hay fever or allergy face wipes to be useful. One last thing to mention, despite this being a popular option, there is unfortunately no scientific evidence that consuming a spoon of locally sourced honey a day can help. This is because bees get their pollen from flowers to make their honey as opposed to trees, grass or weeds, the pollen of which doesn’t end up in the honey, being consumed by us…but that doesn’t mean to say you don’t have to stop supporting your local economy and bee population, if you still fancied sampling this form of sweet tasty treat.
Finally, if you or anyone you know do happen to be suffering with their sinuses as a result of hay fever, then be sure to check out an earlier NCTV on the matter – Episode 12 to be precise, where you can find some great self-help facial massage and drainage techniques to help.
That’s all for today and I’ll see you next time for some more bitesize tips to help your health flourish. By for now.