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How to Manage Your Hay Fever this Spring

9th April 2021

Don't you just love Spring? Blooming flowers, singing birds, and a general 'happy feeling' in the air. Unless you have hay fever of course, in which case you're probably dreading venturing to your local nature-spot. Picnic in the park? No thanks! Hay fever is one of the most common allergies in the world, affecting an estimated 30-40% of the world's population. For some, hay fever causes a running nose, itchy eyes and general discomfort. For others, hayfever is a major risk factor, worsening conditions such as asthma and other chronic upper-airway diseases.

What Causes Hay Fever?

So, what causes hay fever exactly? Think back to Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, remember Sneezy? He's actually one of the very few Disney characters to have allergies. As a result of his severe hay fever allergy, we see Sneezy throughout the movie having bouts of uncontrollable sneezing (hence his name). He barely even has to look at a bunch of flowers before he starts erupting.

Male fertilising fowers, trees, grasses and even weeds release pollen - a fine powdery substance comprised of microscopic grains. While bees and other insects thrive off pollen, for some of us, it can cause serious irritation. Pollen is a major allergen that can cause a whole host of allergen symptoms, from runny noses and sneezing to itching and even irritated eyes. Pollen season various across the globe, but it generally lasts around 2-4 months. What's even worse, pollen levels can actually be higher indoors than outdoors, as it becomes trapped in enclosed spaces.

How Can I Reduce My Pollen Exposure?

Spring season is here, so it's important to start implementing some changes to your day if you really want to help relieve your symptoms! Follow our steps below, for a typical Spring/Summer day.

Before You Leave Home

Planning a day outdoors? Before you leave, make sure you check the pollen counts in your area. Most cities provide pollen maps these days, and they can be a good indicator of how intense your pollen exposure will be on a specific day. If you feel comfortable wearing one, a mask is a great option for those wanting to avoid breathing in particles and is a very effective way to filter out pollen from the air (plus, you might be wearing one anyway already for obvious reasons!).

When You Get Home

While you may associate pollen-exposure with fields of flowers and open grass, pollen can actually find its way into your home too. Luckily, there are some ways you can reduce those pesky pollen particles indoors, and avoid itchy eyes!

When you enter your home, get into the habit of leaving shoes and coats at the door. Use a doormat to wipe off your shoes if you can. Pollen can cling to your clothing, so it's important to ensure you're keeping as much pollen as you can out of your home. Unfortunately, we carry a lot of pollen with us too, so a shower and hair wash will help greatly, especially if you've been amongst nature (or running through fields of wheat).

It might sound simple, but vacuuming is a great way to reduce pollen particles. Ensure your vacuum is fitted with a good filter so that it can trap particles and not release them back into your home. After vacuuming, grab a wet cloth or mop to clean surfaces and floors, to wipe down any pollen particles which may have clung to surfaces.

For ultimate protection, we recommend using a room air purifier. Air purifiers not only remove pollen but can also eliminate toxins and unwanted allergins from cigarette smoke, paint and even stain removers! Plus, you can plug them in, turn them on and relax. Their relatively quiet operation means you'll barely even forget they're running!

How Can An Air Purifier Help?

For hay fever sufferers, by having an air purifier in your home you can keep yourself protected from the histamines which trigger your runny nose and itchy eyes. Blueair purifiers are a great choice for this, as they feature HEPASilent™ technology which delivers high performance and efficiency by combining electrostatic and mechanical filtration. Their quiet performance means you can drift off to sleep, pollen-free, with minimal noise! Plus on its lowest setting, a Blueair air purifier uses less electricity than an LED lightbulb, while still achieving a 99.97% filtration efficiency of airborne particles down to 0.1 microns in size which is anywhere from 20 to 200 times smaller than a pollen particle!

People suffering from health conditions such as asthma and COPD may also find the use of an air purifier beneficial, especially this time of year. Organisations such as Asthma Allergy Nordic recommend the Blueair Classic range for people with a range of respiratory problems. Asthma, for example, can be triggered by many things, not just pollen, such as pet dander. If you are sensitive to chemicals and gases, you may also find breathing more difficult. Air purifiers are a great way to enjoy some relief from asthma.  Air purifiers come in all shapes and sizes, so it's easy to find one to suit your home! You can also move them during the day, to purify the air in each room of your home. We think they're a great option for those who are sensitive to allergens, as you can benefit from them all year round, not just in Spring! 

To the hay fever sufferers reading this, we challenge you to try some of these tips and tricks this Spring! We'd love to hear if you have undertaken our suggestions, so let us know on social media if any of them helped by tweeting as us (@boxcouk) to share your experiences - who knows, maybe this year you'll find yourself enjoying being outdoors more!

We hope our blog post helps you deal with those pesky hay fever symptoms this Spring! 

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