As spring continues to bloom hayfever sufferers all over the UK will feel that impending dread of a streaming nose, itchy eyes and sleepless nights.
As plants release pollen, millions of people with hay fever start to sniffle and sneeze, as trees, grasses, and weeds release these tiny grains into the air to fertilize other plants. Pollen can travel for hundreds of miles, so it is not just the plants in your local area that you feel. Pollen counts are higher on breezy days. Rainy days, on the other hand, wash away the allergens.
When pollen grains are breathed in by someone allergic, the immune system mistakenly sees the pollen as a danger and releases antibodies that attack the allergens. That leads to the release of chemicals called histamines into the blood. Histamines trigger the runny nose, itchy eyes, and other symptoms that anyone with allergies is more than familiar with.
- Nasal congestion
- Irritated eyes, nose and throat
- Coughing or wheezing
- Problems concentrating and/or sleeping
And in severe cases can even extend to:
- Pain due to blocked sinuses
- Loss of smell or taste
The tree pollen season is already in full swing and whilst many welcome the warmer, sunnier weather for thousands of people it brings the misery and discomfort that allergies can bring. As a carer for people who have allergies you can feel helpless in helping and making them more comfortable.
Practical things you can do are to keep windows closed. Vacuums and dust regularly. Pollen sticks to clothes and hair so ensure that hayfever sufferers have a daily wash – both skin and hair. Clean nightwear and bedding will also help. Petroleum jelly around the nostrils can catch pollen before it enters the system and also soothe sore skin. Also, whilst flowers are a popular gift from families and loved ones, you may choose to ask that they are substitutes for something which won’t bring pollen directly into the home.
A visit from the GP may determine whether a standard antihistamine is appropriate, or whether an over the counter remedy is more suitable. Understandably some residential care homes are keen to find more natural ways to help the situation throughout the home.
One way to do this during hayfever season is to remove pollen from the home using an air purifier.
A Blueair air purifier with a particle filter removes most airborne allergens, and will remove 99% of pollen in a room in just 20 minutes.
The key is to select the correct model for your room size to achieve optimum performance and reduce pollen and other airborne allergens from your space.
Finally, anyone with chronic sensitivity to pollen and other airborne allergens is naturally more susceptible to catching a common cold or flu. Our Blueair purifiers will help with that, too. For example, when the Blueair Classic family was tested by accredited CAS Test Technical Services, it removed 99.99% of H1N1 influenza, as well as more than 99.9% of Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli and Aspergillus Niger.*
*Removal rate in 60 minutes according to GB18801-2015.