Hay fever is an allergic reaction to the naturally occurring pollens in the air that our body detects as harmful, triggering the release of histamines. Unfortunately, it is this plan of attack which causes us to feel those familiar symptoms of itchiness, sneezing, nasal congestion and watering eyes.
While treatment usually involves a round of medicine and nasal sprays, you could see yourself avoiding these often costly cures all together by listening our five simple to follow tips:
1. Eat more curry
Sounds easy enough, right? Turmeric is a spice found in most Indian curries which contains strong anti-inflammatory properties, meaning it can alleviate these reactions before they take place. A 2008 study published in the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, found that turmeric prevented the release of histamine from mast cells.
2. Get more sleep
Another easy but crucial step in wading off the irritable symptoms is sleep. Rest is an essential component in maintaining a healthy and functioning body, an article published by Harvard Medical School states that sleep deprivation alters our body’s immune function and hormone levels. Similarly, a survey undertaken by the National Pollen and Aerobiology Research Unit found that 87% of people with only mild symptoms of hay fever got at least 7 hours of sleep a night.
3. Drink less alcohol
Not the news everyone wants to hear, but this is another important step. Alcohol naturally contains large amounts of histamines – the compound which our body releases that causes the reactions to occur in the first place. While no one expects you to go cold turkey, it might be a good idea to limit yourself to one or two drinks an outing.
4. Wash your hair and clothes frequently
Perhaps the easiest of all tips, washing your hair a clothes more frequently can really make a difference to your symptoms. Pollen is a very sticky substance that can get stuck on your clothes and hair, which will then transfer to your pillow overnight. It is worth your time to cautious just what you are bringing into your living room, as you could end up affecting more than just yourself.
5. Stress Less
This one is a bit trickier, however again vital. The same survey conducted by the National Pollen and Aerobiology Research Unit found that seven of the ten participants who were in stressful circumstances were showing the most severe levels of irritation. While we all cope with it in different ways, if you are feeling stressed it may be worth talking to someone about.