While the increase in temperature and the number of daylight hours is a welcome phenomenon associated with summer, approximately 1 in 4 UK citizens suffer from an allergy to pollen.
During the spring and summer, around 2.5 % off all GP visits are due to hay fever symptoms impacting upon our daily lives, and cost the UK public around 50 million in medication costs. Suffering from extreme hay fever symptoms can also lead to dangerous near misses on the road as a single sneeze causes us to take our eyes off the road for a couple of seconds.
It is vitally important that hay fever sufferers ensure that their medication is up to date and effective. Scheduling an annual visit to see your GP to make sure that you are taking the most up to date and innovative drugs to keep your symptoms under control is essential. One type of medication does not fit all, so make sure yours is right for you.
There are also some natural ways to treat your symptoms which are worth a try, but again they do not work for everyone. Recent studies have suggested that what we eat can have a huge impact on how we cope during the pollen season. Cutting down on foods which encourage mucus production (such as milk and sugar), and packing our diet plans with foods containing natural antihistamines and have anti-inflammatory properties (such as raw fruit and vegetables) could have far-reaching effects.
If you do decide to try this way of reducing your symptoms you need to have realistic expectations. It unlikely (although it has been reported!) that modifying your diet will lead to an end to your symptoms. Continue to take your medication and other precautions such as keeping an eye on the pollen report, showering regularly to remove pollen from your body, and screening your windows with Pollen Screens to keep your symptoms under control.
See below for a list of foods to eat, and foods to miss…
- All vegetables except tomatoes
- All fruit except oranges
- Soya products (to replace dairy)
- Raw and unsalted nuts and seeds
- Honey and maple syrup (to replace sugar)
- Beans, lentils and tofu
- Herbal teas
- Plenty of water to cleanse the system
- Dairy products
- Wheat and wheat products such as pasta and bread