I’ve a lot of plans for this summer but sporting red eyes and a runny nose isn’t one of them!
According to the NHS, more than 10 million people have a pollen allergy in the UK, and as many as 1 in 5 of us are suspected to suffer from at least one of the symptoms at some point in our lives.
That’s a lot of pollen-haters!
I think one of the main reasons that hay fever is so begrudging is not because of the way it makes me want to tear out my eyeballs and fill my nose with tissues for the rest of eternity (though those are pretty painful reasons too), it’s because of how costly it actually is. I can’t believe I actually have to pay good money because my body can’t handle grass, but here we are.
Nasal sprays and tablets can become really expensive, especially when hay fever typically tends to strike for the duration of May through to September (that’s a lot of days you need to stock up for).
So, desperately seeking an solution to my suffering, I spoke with a well-known pharmacist, Shamir Patel, who informed me of the ways in which he would beat hay fever on a budget.
…And the allergy-sufferers rejoice!
Bulk-Buy the Meds
“Antihistamines are probably the most recommended medicine for treating hay fever allergies amongst other allergies. When they’re taken properly, they’re usually pretty effective in maintaining symptoms. And though they won’t help you avoid hay fever, they’ll help you to avoid the effects of it,” Shamir explained.
Buying antihistamines in bulk is a cost-effective way of approaching hay fever if you can’t be without the meds. Buying them online usually brings the price down, and ensuring you’re well stocked for the months ahead means it’s only a one-off payment you need to worry about to keep your symptoms at bay for the duration of spring and summer. Time it with your student loan and you’re on to a winner.
Keep A Keen Eye on Pollen Count
“You should also keep an eye on the pollen count, as it can differ from day to day. Most morning news broadcasts on the TV and radio will update you with the weather bulletin, but you can also check pollen count on interactive pollen maps.”
Checking the pollen count means you’ll know when to take extra precautions (like not leaving the house without a Sandy-Cheeks style dome on your head).
Here’s a live action shot of how I’m tryna’ be this year
Wash Your Clothes, A Lot
“Hay fever is an allergy to pollen and dust, both of which cling to your clothes. A good way to lessen your chances of being affected by hay fever is ensuring that your clothes are thoroughly washed every day and especially after spending time near pollinated areas.”
If ever there was a reason to keep on top of that ever-growing pile of laundry… I’m much more attracted to keeping on top of washing my clothes knowing it might keep my runny nose at bay.
“Pollen and dust can cling to your home too” Shamir informs us.
“So, as well as washing your clothes you should also make an extra effort to clean your home every day; dusting is essential and washing linen often is also a good idea. It’s likely during the hot weather that you’ll have your windows open to let in the fresh air, but you’ll also likely let in pollen and dust too, so be mindful of that.”
Cleaning is something we all do pretty regularly anyway, so turning it up a notch seems like a small price to pay if it means bidding the hay fever symptoms goodbye. (It’s also worth sending this article to your flatmate who you’ve reminded for the third time today to wipe the surfaces down.)
Lubricate Your Nose (Yes, Really)
The thought of wandering around with a coat of Vaseline around your nostrils sounds slightly ludicrous, but actually, it could be the saving grace you needed to hear this year.
“Though it’s not scientifically proven to work, you can use a small amount of Vaseline around your nose to help block pollen from entering your nose. The pollen effectively sticks to the edges of your nostrils and stops you from reacting to it.” Mr Patel explains.
It sounds bizarre, but if the pollen count is set to be extremely high, I’m completely up for greasing my nose before I step outdoors.