Get one step ahead of hay fever before the summer arrives

OK, so we’re loving the longer evenings and the nice weather – but the hay fever sufferers among us are already dreading that seasonal pollen scourge.

Red nose, watery eyes, puffy cheeks –  not exactly the summer trend you were going for.

Here are a few tips to help beat that nasty pollen before the summer really kicks off.

Be prepared
If you’re someone who has suffered from hay fever before, try and identify what kind of pollen it is you’re allergic to. The general rule is that tree pollen kicks off earliest, before grass pollen takes hold and then weed pollen rounds things off in August. Once you’re as sure as you can be that you know which pollen affects you, take action before your pollen spores make an appearance. Research shows that those who take antihistamines before the pollen seasons begin are less likely to suffer really bad hay fever symptoms once the allergens are in the air.

Go easy on the alcohol
Those suffering from the summer sniffles are often tempted to drink away the symptoms but in fact, hay fever sufferers are best off avoiding most types of alcohol. Champagne, wine, beer and many spirits contain the chemical known to set off allergy symptoms. Obviously, you still want to enjoy your summer, so just maybe avoid the cocktails when your hay fever is really playing up.

Close your windows
Keeping your windows closed may not be the nicest thing if the weather is sticky, but if you can bear it, don’t open them at all while you know there’s pollen in the air. If you don’t let the pollen into your house then at least, you’ll only be suffering the effects of hay fever when you’re outside.

Change your clothes
Similarly, if you shower and change or wash your clothes after coming in from outside, you will remove the pollen from your body and your hay fever won’t play up once you’re in the comfort of your own home.

Check the pollen count
Plenty of weather forecast websites also have a pollen forecast and whilst this can’t be 100 per cent accurate, it does give you a pretty good idea of which days are going to be less of a nightmare for you than others.

See a doctor
If over-the-counter remedies just aren’t doing the trick, there may be some treatment available on prescription. Don’t be afraid to ask your GP about your hay fever, particularly if supposedly non-drowsy antihistamines are making you too tired to lead your life as normal.