Handle the hassle of hay fever

The Asthma Association of Ireland estimates that approximately one in 10 people in Ireland experience the discomfort of hay fever each year.

Typical symptoms of hay fever usually include: sneezing, itchy and watery eyes, and a stuffy nose. Alison Cullen, A.Vogel’s nutritional therapist and education manager, has some tips reduce the symptoms of hay fever.

Support your immune system: First of all, ditch the junk food. Fill your plate with broccoli, cabbage, carrots, turmeric and onions, which contain plenty of essential nutrients. Try swapping sugars. Make hot drinks with squeezed oranges, lemons or limes, and stew berries for comfort snacks.

Keep working out: If you are desperate to avoid pollen, staying indoors and avoiding exercise during the hay fever season may seem very appealing. However, a study conducted by Professor Jean Emberlin, director of Pollen UK, demonstrates that regular exercise can actually help improve your hay fever symptoms. The study found that those who are most physically active tend to have milder symptoms than those who did little or no exercise.

Take caution when pollen is high: Pollen is usually at its highest first thing in the morning and early evening – try exercising during lunchtime instead when levels are lower. Take a brisk walk during your lunch break for example.

Plan your route: If out running or walking, avoid wooded areas such as parks and gardens.

Exercise indoors: If pollen levels are high it’s a good idea to stick to indoor exercise at the local gym, swimming pool, or indoor tennis courts.

Wear sunglasses: Especially wraparounds for outdoor exercise to help reduce the amount of pollen getting into your eyes.

Put your barrier up: Before working out, especially if it is an outdoor activity, spread a barrier balm such as Vaseline around the edge of each nostril to trap or block pollen. Reapply each time you blow your nose.

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