Hay fever: How to beat symptoms so you can enjoy the outdoors this Summer
Let's enjoy the outdoors
Spending the Summer outside enjoying the warm, dry weather and going for walks and picnics sounds like heaven to most of us.
However, for around 20% of the population, this isn't the most ideal.
For people who suffer from pollen-related allergies, an outdoor barbecue or a walk in the park is a nightmare.
According to MET Éireann, those living in Leinster will experience a medium tree pollen risk today but it'll be high tomorrow and Wednesday May 10th.
So, now that hay fever season is well and truly here, these tips and tricks may be very helpful if you want to spend more time in your garden.
Pollen is absorbed through the nasal passage, the mouth and eyes and it causes uncomfortable inflammation and itching.
If you suffer from hay fever, you know there's a lot of sneezing, sniffing, coughing and eye-rubbing involved.
Doctors usually prescribe antihistamines and steroids and often encourage people to invest in other helpful remedies such as cooling eye-patches, hay fever relief bands and hay fever sprays.
Some who suffer from hay fever feel like they can't spend time in their own gardens because of their over-whelming symptoms but, there are ways around it.
Olivia Kirk, is an experienced landscape and garden designer and she specialises in creating healing gardens.
According to BBC News she said you can still have a colourful, pretty garden but it can be hay fever friendly.
In Spring, everything is growing and so it means the pollen has doubled and with a gentle breeze, tree pollen can travel easily.
Unfortunately, it's because tree pollen is so small and light.
Pollen created by bees and insects is more sticky and so can't get to us as easily, yay.
Here are simple things that you can do that will help lower the pollen in your garden.
1. Choose the right plants.
The brighter the flower, the better. Bright coloured flowers with low allergy ratings like roses, orchids and tulips are the way to go.
They're beautiful and will enhance your garden but won't cause hay fever flare-ups.
You may want to consider removing some of the trees. Interestingly, there are male and female pollens.
Male trees will emit pollen where as female trees will attract it so adding some female trees may be the best option.
It may be an obvious one to some but stay inside when the grass is being mowed.
2. Timing is key.
The time of the day that you work or spend time in your garden will make a difference.
Pollen count is lower in the afternoon and usually, pollen is lower on a cool windless day so time your approach.
Grass pollen is more prominent in the morning time so best not be outdoors early morning.
3. Keep your pets pollen-free.
The best way to control your allergies is by making sure your pets don't bring pollen into the home.
If they're out rolling in the grass or sniffing around hedges, brush them off before they come inside.
Otherwise, they're bringing the poll indoors and you'll see an increase in your symptoms.
4. Stop pollen at the door.
Removing layers like jackets, bags, shoes at the door as soon as you come inside will limit how far pollen gets into the home.
Keeping that area clean is important to stop the pollen spreading and so if there's time, hoover around the clothes and shoes when you come inside.
This goes for kid's toys too. If the children are outside and are playing with kites or footballs, avoid bringing them inside. Leave them in a safe sheltered place outside.
Ensure you wash your hands as soon as you come inside too as this obviously limits the possibility of the pollen spreading to other parts of your home. Plus, it's less likely that your allergies will kick off.
5. Wash and hoover regularly.
Washing down fabrics and surfaces regularly will help keep hay fever at bay.
Carpets and couches should be washed down every few days in order to help with allergies.
Try pick up a large sofa slipover and machine wash that every week and that'll make a huge difference.
Hoovering well is important too because pollen and dust are easily hoovered up so it's a simple solution.
Some people even go as far as getting allergen-resistant floors put into their homes. Wooden and tile flooring are best for hay fever sufferers because they're easier to clean than carpets and rugs.
Don't be afraid to clean the outdoor decking area either. If you have an outdoor living area, power hosing will make a huge difference to your experience outside.