Monday, 27 July 2015

Every raincloud has a silver lining (hayfever relief)

This photo was taken yesterday. It would appear that summer has been rained off before it even really began. While most people are sighing sadly or grumbling into their cornflakes, there is one group of people who can see a huge advantage to this situation : hayfever sufferers. As temperatures soar, so does the pollen count unfortunately, and I know first-hand how thoroughly miserable it can be to have a red raw nose, itchy sore eyes and constantly streaming nose and eyes day in day out.

I smiled as I read a recent report from Boots Pharmaceuticals mentioning ‘insneezia’ – a term that I'd never heard of that refers to the insomnia-esque impact of night time hayfever symptoms. I've often noticed that my hayfever kicks off at bedtime but I always thought it was because my hair had dried after my after-work shower designed to wash off and dampen down the pollen. It usually ends up with a severely blocked nose which leads to snoring/breathing through my mouth which in turn leads to Madhouse Daddy shoving me in the back because he can't sleep !

 Dr Peter Burt, Aerobiologist at the University of Greenwich explains the causes: “Hayfever sufferers may find that their symptoms get worse during the evening. This is because pollen rises into the lower atmosphere throughout the day and begins to fall back to the ground as the temperature drops - exposing hayfever sufferers to a higher level of pollen in the evening compared to earlier on in the day. Higher pollen levels in the evening can also be because some flowers release pollen later in the day - meaning pollen levels increase with this burst and remain higher during the evening and overnight.”
Rain Shower
Photo credit :

This part made me laugh out loud : "It seems desperate Brits will go to all sorts of lengths to try and stop hayfever from hampering their slumber with one in five (22%) admitting to sleeping with tissues up their nose and 4% resorting to putting their heads in the freezer to try and relieve symptoms." I don't go this far, although I can understand the temptation !

Boots have some simpler solutions available fortunately. Angela Chalmers Boots UK Pharmacist comments: “Falling pollen at night doesn’t have to get in the way of a good night’s sleep if you take steps to keep your hayfever symptoms in check before your head hits the pillow. Most one-a-day anti-histamines are usually a 24 hour dose, so taking your daily dose at least 3 hours before you go to bed may help reduce symptoms throughout the night. Additionally, consider using a barrier nasal spray before bed, which can be more effective at treating more severe hayfever symptoms, as they create protective lining in the nasal passage reducing the inhalation of the allergens that are responsible for hayfever.”

No273 13 Oct 2009 Sneeze
Photo credit :

Five hacks that only hayfever sufferers know…

1. Wearing sunglasses after sun down… not because you think you’re a celeb, but because you’re protecting your eyes from pesky pollen
2. Covering that summer BBQ in chilli and Tabasco sauce isn’t just to spice things up... it’s a discreet way to help unblock your nose
3. Hanging laundry inside - even when the sun is shining… that’s because you don’t want pollen infused bedding
4. The smell of freshly cut grass isn’t how you know it’s time to retire your winter wardrobe… glistening petroleum jelly under your nose to keep pollen away is your marker that summer is here
5. Wearing waterproof mascara with no pool in sight… a guaranteed way to avoid panda eyes when your eyes start streaming.

 I received a Boots Pharmaceuticals Allergy Barrier Nasal Spray (RRP £8.99) to try out. It is a clinically proven, non-drowsy nasal powder spray that delivers fast, effective protection against hayfever and other airborne allergens. It is suitable for children over 18 months old and adults, including pregnant women, which is great news because you can't take anithistamines when you are pregnant or breastfeeding. I have definitely been breathing more easily - although the rain has helped too !

Other hayfever-busting allies that Boots Pharmaceuticals have in their arsenal - One-a-Day Allergy Relief Tablets (10mg, £7.69, 30 day supply), Allergy Relief Eye Drops (10ml, £5.39), Irritated Eyes Eye Mist (10ml, £11.99) 

Disclosure : I received a Boots Pharmaceuticals Allergy Barrier Nasal Spray to ease my hayfever pain !


  1. Oooh good tips, especially the waterproof mascara. I was doing a good panda impression last week

  2. I have found for me personally that Hay Max works very well for nose symptoms. Never found much that helps the eyes from me wanting to gouge them out with a blunt tea spoon cos the itch is driving me nuts

    1. Haymax is pretty good but Vaseline does pretty much the same job. I use Sterimar for washing out my eyes and dampening things down.