Runny nose, itchy eyes, sneezing face. Hay fever is making a comeback.

What is hay fever?

The onset of an allergy is the hypersensitive reaction of your immune system. The immune system is activated when it senses an invasion of a foreign body. A sort of “false alarm” is triggered which activates mast cells, further releasing histamine and causing adverse reactions. Fortunately, there are a few helpful hacks to relieve you from its dreadful symptoms.

1. Pineapple power

Add pineapple to your diet. It contains bromelain, a natural protein-digesting enzyme. It’s a powerful anti-inflammatory which on its own may be useful for reducing inflammation, especially of the nose and sinuses. Bromelain has also been shown to enhance the efficacy of quercetin. Quercetin is a flavonoid that may help stop the production and release of histamine.

2. Good ‘ol Vaseline

Before heading outdoors, spread a bit of Vaseline on the inside of the bottom of your nose to act as a trap for at least some pollen particles. This method can trap pollen and prevent it from entering the airways. Apply a bit on your lashes too, to prevent itchy eyes.

3. Eyewear

The eyes are usually a target for pollen. If you don’t wear prescription glasses, you should consider wearing a pair of shades to minimise their exposure.

4. Wash your face after being outdoors

When you get home, give your face a wash. Water will help remove allergens to stop the reactions. Place a cool compress over sore eyes. Shower at night before sleeping to remove pollen particles from your hair and body. Pollen can get trapped on your clothes so rather get changed in the bathroom. This way you won’t be spreading pollen around your home and leaving pollen-laden clothes in your bedroom while you sleep. Wash these clothes as soon as you can or leave them in a laundry bag in the bathroom.

5. Spot of tea

Research suggests that green tea can have an antihistamine effect, which should help relieve your symptoms in the short term at least. Chamomile tea also helps and you can use the teabag as a cold compress to soothe your swollen eyes as well. Ditch dairy for almond or coconut milk. Dairy increases mucus production which can be a nightmare for hay fever sufferers.

6. Vitamin C

Pump up your Vitamin C intake and fill your diet with plenty of oranges, blueberries and strawberries. Vitamin C acts as a natural antihistamine to calm allergic reactions.

7. Add some zing to your food

Add a generous portion of garlic, ginger and chilli to your food – they’ve shown to ease the symptoms of congestion.