Hay fever: Dr Chris Steele shares advice on avoiding pollen
Hay fever is an allergic reaction to pollen that typically occurs if it comes into contact with the mouth, eyes, nose or throat. Common symptoms include sneezing, coughing and itchy eyes. And as the weather warms hay fever sufferers are more likely to be affected.
Not only can the side effects of hay fever disrupt daily life, but they can make it more difficult to sleep.
However, there could be ways to minimise disruption at night.
Hayley Thistleton, sleep expert at SleepSeeker, explained: “As we enter allergy season it is a good idea to take stock of how long we have owned our bedding for as the older your bedding, the more skin cells, dust, sweat and oils get trapped inside of them.
“This is why it’s so important to clean your bedding regularly; many people change their bed linen every two weeks or so. However, if you’re struggling with allergy symptoms, try and wash your bedding every week to reduce particles and mites from building up.
“As well as keeping your bedding clean, try and wash your duvet every four months and your pillows every two months to keep on top of the allergies, and line both your pillows and mattress with an anti-allergy topper which can reduce the volume of dust mite build up.
“Finally, although we all love our furry friends, try and keep pets out of the bedroom where possible in order to avoid your pets’ hair aggravating your allergy, and preventing you from having a restful night’s sleep.”
She shared her 10 top tips for sleeping well during allergy season.
Purify the air – Using an air purifier in your bedroom during the day will ensure your room is clean for night time, this will also get rid of any nasty pollen, mites and viruses from your home, which is a great way to keep your home free of a whole range of nasties.
Close doors and windows – This can help with keeping allergens out of your home, instead of allowing air from the outside into your bedroom, this effectively will stop outside pollen and pollutants from being invited into your home.
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Cleaning out your sinuses – Rinsing your sinus is a good way of clearing out any pollen or dust that has got trapped inside your nose.
Trapped dirt or pollen can cause irritation and headaches, and so cleaning the area regularly can help remove excess mucus and clear out any allergy-causing particles.
Sleeping in an upright position – Propping some pillows underneath your head will keep you in an upright position, to allow drainage from any congestion that may occur during sleep, in order to keep you happily in the land of nod.
Clean your bedroom – To stop allergy particles from sticking to your bedroom floor you should clean your carpet often, or even replace carpet with wooden flooring.
Cleaning of any soft furnishings and dusting of sides will keep dust and pollen particles down.
Change where you dry your washing – Instead of hanging washing out to dry in the warmer months, it is best to dry them in a dryer if possible.
This will stop pollen from attaching to your clothes outside whilst drying and help keep that pollen away from your skin.
Keep pets out of your bedroom – As much as we love our pets, it’s best to keep them out of your bedroom, as they can often be carrying pollen and dust mites into your bedroom which will increase irritation at night.
Take allergy medication at night – Always consult your doctor before changing your routine, but taking allergy medication at night could help in ensuring a good night’s sleep, as this will help your body combat the response to the pollen.
Anti-allergy bedding – Anti-allergy bedding is a great way to ensure a good night’s sleep, especially during allergy season.
Using anti-dust mite, antibacterial products can aid a great night’s sleep for anyone suffering with symptoms of allergies.
Shower before bed – A pre-sleep wash will enable you to wash off all of the pollen from your body and hair that has accumulated over the day, allowing you to enter a good night’s sleep without disturbance.
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