Health

5 ways to tackle seasonal allergies

Say goodbye to uncontrollable sneezing and watery eyes...

Achoo! If your nose turns into a leaky tap in spring and summer in the form of seasonal allergies, here’s the bad news: after years of La Niña, an uptick in mould growth could make this hayfever season a real doozy.

Mould can make an unwelcome appearance in our homes and workplaces due to rising damp, humidity, poor ventilation and condensation,” says naturopath and health advisor for Kolorex, Chloe Chivers.

“For some people, exposure to mould spores either through inhalation or touch can trigger an inflammatory response.”

Here are five ways to reduce hayfever symptoms during seasonal allergies.

Track pollen

The pollen count tends to be at its highest between early morning and noon as well as on hot windy days. Use a free app, such as AusPollen or Philips Clean Home+, to keep a close eye on pollen levels.

Clean

Pollen clings to dust so vacuum often and clean surfaces daily with a toxin-free antibacterial. Hang up washing inside so it doesn’t attract outdoor pollen.

Cross-ventilate

“Opening just one window can introduce more allergens, such as mould spores, pollution, pollen and smoke to the air you breathe,” says National Asthma Council Australia spokesperson Professor Sheryl Van Nunen, who recommends cross-ventilating rooms or keeping windows shut and using an air purifier.

Block histamine

If you’re sensitive to mould or pollen, your body releases histamine, causing symptoms such as itchy red eyes and sneezing.

While regular antihistamines will reduce the severity, Chloe also recommends upping your intake of vitamin C.

“A 2018 study looking at intravenous vitamin C suggests that vitamin C reduces allergy-related symptoms,” she says.

Vitamin C is found in foods like citrus fruit, capsicum and cruciferous vegetables.”

She also recommends quercetin, a flavonoid found in citrus, onions, grapes and dark berries.

“Quercetin has potential anti-allergic functions known for inhibiting histamine production and inflammation.”

Cool it

If allergies cause skin issues such as hives, try an ice pack or cold shower.

“As uncomfortable as that first icy splash might be, it can reduce swelling and irritation and wash off allergens,” says pharmacist Montana Grenfell. 

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