The Official National Department of Health COVID-19 Support Service: 060 012 3456 (WhatsApp)

Find a Doctor

or Dentist

Hospitals

Where can you go?

Careers

View positions

Pre-Authorisation / 24hr Emergency

0861 11 00 33

Keep your seasonal allergies in check

Keep your seasonal allergies in check

Allergies can be annoying. Some allergies are just mild sniffles or itchy eyes. Then, other seasonal allergies can be absolutely debilitating. Many people suffer from intense headaches, blocked noses and excess mucous and saliva. Allergies are common, but they shouldn’t be overlooked. It can really hamper your quality of life if you don’t have the proper education or medical guidance to rely on when you are having a flare-up. Also, having a set plan to avoid reactions between flare-ups can really be helpful. 

Seasonal allergies are usually associated with Spring and autumnal changes. But, the truth is that pollen from trees and weeds may cause you to suffer from congestion, itchy eyes, and sneezing all year round. 

If you live in a tropical environment, or in a woody, plant-filled area, you may never get rest from the pollen in the air! 

Stay inside

Of course, you cannot stay inside forever, but be wary of the time of day and season and perhaps plan social functions around it. Pollen levels vary throughout the day, so be strategic about when you head outside to exercise, do chores, or have a picnic, Mental Floss advises. People who suffer from severe seasonal allergies may want to consider staying indoors during the early morning or late evening hours. This is when the pollen count is extra high. 

Pollen counts are also lower after rain, as opposed to sunnier, windy days.

Clean inside!

Keeping a clean, dust-free home is important. Many people who suffer from seasonal allergies are also sensitive to dust and other non-natural triggers. Animal fur, fluff and other fluffy aggravators get stuck to furniture and carpets. Make sure to deep clean regularly with hypoallergenic detergents. 

Also, be sure to wash all ‘outside clothes’ so that toxins from outside that get stuck on these clothes get washed away and don’t get the opportunity to cling to things in the home. 

If you have pets, wash them regularly. Keep them off beds. The best thing to do is to have a designated pet-free area of your home. Most people have a rule that animals can stay in the main areas of the house, but bedrooms are kept sanitary. 

Dr Suman Golla, an Associate Professor, Ear Nose & Throat at the University of Pittsburgh Medical School, says: “Within the bedroom, the upholstery, draperies and the bed itself are prime locations for pet dander deposition. Please do your best to keep your pets out of your bedroom and especially out of your bed.”

Tailor your home to your seasonal allergies!

People who suffer from allergies are usually safer opting for hardwood or tiles in their home instead of rugs and carpets. Allergens can get stuck in the fibres of rugs even if you vacuum regularly.

Fabrics like linen were found to be the worst for allergies because of dust mites, whereas tightly woven materials, such as silk, which is naturally formed by the silkworm to provide a protective barrier for itself, are the best for allergy sufferers, explains Woman’s World. Bedding should also be breathable and vapour permeable – which means the best anti-dust mite bedding is made from material that is tightly woven with a pore size of less than 10 microns, which is small enough to prevent these little nuisances from penetrating your bed, pillows, or covers but won’t suffocate you.

Local Honey

Turns out, scientific evidence suggests that eating honey from the area that you live in can help you build a natural resistance to the pollen and hay fever triggers in the air.

Eating honey from bees that pollinate the flora in your vicinity will give you micro-doses of the allergens, which will force your body to build an immunity to it over time. 

One study showed that eating large amounts of honey did make a difference in subjects’ allergy symptoms over a period of eight weeks. However, the scientific community is still split on accuracy. You cannot be sure how much pollen you are exposed to with each serving of honey. 

Larger-scale studies should be conducted to confirm or recommend a certain amount of honey.

Warning:  People who have a severe allergy to pollen can experience a serious allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis. In milder cases, they could experience intense itching or swelling of the mouth, throat, or skin. Children under 1-year-old should also not be exposed to honey. Raw, unprocessed honey can cause botulism.

Irrigation for seasonal allergies

Natural remedies are quite popular with people who have intense allergies. Yes, there are loads of analgesics and medications to assist with the symptoms, but there are loads of things in your pantry and bathroom that can help. 

Firstly, irrigating your nasal passages with saline and a neti pot really does work! Just pour the saline (which can be made at home) through one nostril and let it flow out of the other. This rinses out any pollen, dust or loose mucous.

Many people find relief from essential oils, particularly eucalyptus and other minty odours. They really open up the nasal passages. 

Warm washcloth compression also helps with breathing as well as helping alleviate any pain in the face, behind the eyes and in the front of the head. 

However, consult a doctor or medical professional before taking any sort of action to ease your symptoms. 

Affinity Health

The Affinity Health Day-to-Day plan, Hospital plan and combined plan have been designed to help you cover the everyday costs of staying healthy while accommodating your particular lifestyle and needs.

Whether you need a doctor or dentist, or need to be prescribed acute medication or receive a pair of reading glasses – Affinity has you covered.