You could be making your hay fever WORSE with these common laundry mistakes
IF you suffer with hay fever you could be making it worse by making some laundry mistakes.
A few simple things to remember could make the annoying condition a bit more bearable.
Professor Adam Fox, a paediatric allergist, has outlined some key dos and don'ts to make the hay fever season a little easier.
You could find that you've accidentally been inflicting more suffering on yourself by not realising these easy tricks.
Wash your masks regularly
While it's no longer the law to wear face masks as often as we were being asked to last week, many place still require you to pop one on.
Supermarkets, public transport and many restaurants are still asking customers to keep their face covered to stop the spread of Covid.
It's sensible to keep doing this where possible or asked BUT, if you are re-wearing the same mask regularly you could get into some hay fever trouble.
Prof Fox told AEG: "Though masks form a barrier when it comes to pollen, if reusable masks are not washed regularly enough they could also be a breeding ground for pollen to really collect.
"This alongside the fact that they naturally sit incredibly close to our eyes and nose could mean that improper mask hygiene could really be against us this year."
Don't dry clothes outside
By hanging clothes up outside to dry you are essentially inviting pollen to cling to your clean laundry.
If you really need to hang it outside consider waiting until midday to lessen the chances of pesky pollen settling on it.
This is because it rises in the morning and sets at dusk, so there will be less of it nearer the ground in the middle of the day.
Shed your clothes before going into your room
You could go a stage further and strip off before entering your home to try and keep as much pollen out as possible, but you might frighten your neighbours…
So the next best thing is to get your kit off before you go into your bedroom.
Prof Fox said: "Clothes and soft fabrics can cause pollen to really cling to them.
"If you've spent a full day outside, it's advisable to take clothing off ahead of entering the bedroom so that you're not bringing in pollen with you to aggravate you later."
Wash your hair more often
Pollen not only sticks to your clothing but gets caught in your hair and gets onto your skin, bothering people with hay fever.
It's therefore important to wash your hair more often than you might normally, just to get a clean pollen-free slate.
You also might want to shower before bed or when getting home from a day outside, to wash off all the pollen.
Prof Fox said: "This means sharing ahead of climbing into bed is a must otherwise, any pollen collected throughout the day will transfer to your bed which could continue to aggravate your seasonal allergies for weeks."
Change your sheets
It'll be a hassle, but it will be worth it.
On high pollen count days its good to change your sheets, or just your pillows at the least, as often possible.
Prof Fox explained: "If you've got your window open in the daytime to air out your bedroom, you could be inviting pollen in to spend the night with you too.
"In a similar way to with masks, our eyes and noses are incredibly close to our pillowcases for a long period of time and so if pillowcases and quilts are covered in pollen, we could be making things much worse for ourselves.
"Consider washing pillowcases as regularly as possible in spring and summertime."
And if this doesn't help, here is a quick checklist of more tips from Professor Fox that might soothe your suffering:
- Avoid being outside in the early morning and evening, as the pollen counts are highest then (unless it is raining).
- Sleep with bedroom windows closed if you can.
- Wear sunglasses, preferably the wrap around type, and use goggles when swimming in the sea or in the pool.
- Limit trips to rural areas. Sea breezes blow pollen inland, so escape to the seaside instead.
- Apply Vaseline around the edge of each nostril as this can act as a barrier to trap pollen.
- Use of a nasal douche, such as Sterimar, may help to wash away pollens and irritants. This can be used just prior to nasal sprays to maximise their effect.
- When it’s especially bad, don’t be afraid to consult your pharmacist or even your GP to get help.
The most common hay fever symptoms usually include sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion, itchy, watery or red eyes and a cough.
Hay fever sufferers may also experience itching around the face and mouth or an itchy feeling inside the roof of the mouth and a burning sensation in the throat.
It may also cause headaches and wheezing, but these are less common symptoms, along with a sore throat.
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