For hay fever sufferers, the arrival of spring also heralds the arrival of the hay fever season. Hay fever is caused by allergens, specifically pollen, which is not dangerous to the body, but for some reason, the body thinks it is a threat.
An allergic reaction is a normal but inappropriate response of the body’s immune system.
The Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy estimates that:
- 20 percent of Australians have at least one allergy.
- The highest prevalence of allergies is in the working population, with 78 per cent of people suffering an allergy between the ages of 15 and 64.
- There are 7.2 million cases of allergy – an average of 1.74 allergies per person.
- If the population continues to age along the current trend, there will be a 70 per cent increase in the number of Australians with an allergy, from 4.1 million to 7.7 million.
If you or someone in your family suffers from allergies, here are some tips that might help make it easier for you this spring:
- Wash bed sheets weekly in hot water.
- Bathe and wash hair before bedtime, as pollen can collect on your skin and hair throughout the day.
- Do not hang clothes outside to dry where they can trap pollens.
- Wear a filter mask when mowing or working outdoors.
- Avoid peak times for pollen exposure (hot, dry, windy days, usually between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.). Although pollens are usually emitted in early morning, peak times for dissemination are between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- Keep windows and car windows closed and use airconditioning in both, if possible, rather than opening windows.
- Perform a thorough spring clean of your home, including replacing heating and airconditioning filters, and cleaning ducts and vents.
- Check bathrooms and other damp areas in your home frequently for mould and mildew, and remove visible mould with nontoxic cleaners.
- Try to keep pets out of the bedroom and off furniture, since they may carry pollen if they have been outdoors
Here are four ways to remove pollen from your home.