Even if you’re taking lots of medication, sometimes it can feel like hay fever is still getting the better of you. There are a lot of easy tricks and self-help tips you can use to help reduce your hay fever symptoms naturally. So let’s get started—what are my top 12 hay fever hacks?
1. Line your nostrils with coconut oil
Dab a little coconut oil around the edges of the nostrils, just inside, to trap pollen before you breathe it in. Make sure to reapply it after blowing your nose. This is a great hack if you know you’re going to be out and about near green spaces, but you can also apply your barrier balm before you go to sleep to help reduce night-time and early morning symptoms. If you don’t have coconut oil handy you can use a different type of barrier balm—Vaseline® or lip balm works well too.
2. Wash your hair before bed
During the day, pollen can get caught in your hair so if you go straight to bed without washing it you’ll cover your pillow in pollen, which you’ll end up breathing in all night. Once the pollen is in your room and on your bedsheets, you’ll likely find that your symptoms keep triggering overnight and early in the morning, even on low pollen count days.
3. Avoid dairy
Dairy is infamous for increasing mucus production—bad news whether your problem is a blocked or a runny nose. Try to avoid dairy as much as possible, by simply cutting down or switching to dairy-free alternatives such as soy or almond milk.
4. Get changed in the bathroom
Like your hair, clothes trap pollen. Getting changed in the bathroom as soon as you come in means that you aren’t spreading pollen around your home or leaving pollen-laden clothes in your bedroom while you sleep. Bathrooms also often have extractor fans, which can help to draw pollen out of the room. Wash these clothes as soon as you can, or leave them in a laundry bag in the bathroom or utility room.
5. Reduce sugar intake
Sugar is a natural inflammatory that will trigger a spike in sugar levels, followed by a crash. The crash can cause a sudden release of adrenaline and histamine which can cause symptoms to get worse suddenly. Opt for low-sugar snacks and avoid sugary soft drinks! Try some of our snack recipes to get you started, or check out the snack section at your local health store.
6. Dry clothes indoors
Leaving your clothes outside on the clothes line means pollen will get stuck to them. And when you put them on you’ll start breathing all that pollen in. When you take the clothes inside, you’ll then also bring pollen into your home. If you’re drying clothes indoors just keep an eye out for excess humidity in your home: it can lead to mould, which isn’t good for the respiratory system either.
7. Reduce your alcohol intake
Alcohol is a rich source of histamine, which can trigger a more severe hay fever reaction, essentially counteracting the anti-histamine tablets you’re taking. Drinking alcohol can also dehydrate you, again placing your immune system under an enormous amount of strain. It might be worth passing over a bottle of wine and having a glass of water instead.
8. Boost vitamin C intake
Eat lots of foods that are rich in vitamin C, like oranges, blueberries and strawberries. Vitamin C acts like a natural antihistamine to calm allergic reactions. Smoothies are a great way to get extra vitamin C into your diet—try our hay fever-blasting smoothie recipe!
9. Cool itchy eyes with a cold compress
According to a recent poll we ran, itchy and irritated eyes are the most-hated symptom!
Soak a clean wash cloth in cold water and place over the eyes for 10 minutes to reduce puffiness and soothe irritation. Do this several times a day for best results.
10. Blast the air-conditioning
If you’ve been driven to distraction with your hay fever symptoms and have taken to the car to attempt to escape the dreaded pollen, remember that the pesky particles will follow you there too. Turn your back on them by sealing your windows shut and blasting the air-conditioning, and protect your eyes by wearing your trendy wrap-around sunglasses.
11. Opt for herbal remedies!
12. Stay up to date with pollen counts
Knowing what the pollen count is going to be is a great way to make sure you’re prepared. Find your nearest pollen count forecast here—we’re sure you’ll find one close to you!