The British Summer, when it comes, is a wonderful thing. The accompanying pollen count however, not so much. If you’re anything like me then you may have spent the last weekend sneezing on repeat, until your nose became a kind of faulty tap that wouldn’t stop dripping, with red, prickly eyes and a scratchy throat to boot. Ew.
I of course decided to make hay fever still worse for myself some years ago when I bought rabbits – aka animals that live off the thing I’m allergic to. Smart move.
Luckily for me, mine seems to be mainly a May/June thing, so despite this meaning that I sniffled through exam season each year as a teenager, I don’t have to deal with it all summer long, and for that I am very grateful.
Whichever period of the year you suffer with hay fever though, it’s no fun. So in solidarity with all you fellow sufferers (us blotchy messes have got to stick together at times like these), I thought I’d share the random little things that help me.
I would previously have only ever considered Strepsils for your typical winter cough/sore throat scenario but I’ve discovered this year that they are completely amazing for hay fever. Those times when your throat is scratching with pollen so bad you can barely speak? I pop in a honey & lemon and it is sweet, sweet relief.
Okay I know this sounds bizarre because the last thing you want to do when your eyes feel like they’re being scraped from within is slick on some eyeliner. BUT, everyone knows that if you give in to the temptation to itch even once, it’s pretty much game over. The addition of a) eye make-up and b) contact lenses has meant that my experience as an adult with hay fever vs as a child, has been infinitely better, because these things literally force you not to itch. Of course, if you can go make-up free and just have the basic self-control not to rub your eyes, then great, but you’re a better person than me!
The act can only be kept up for so long of course. As soon as you’re done with work or just your general daily tasks that require having your eyes open, my advice is cold compress those babies. I get two cotton pads, soak them in Liz Earle’s Eyebright Soothing Eye Lotion*, run them over the eye area and then lie back with them on as if they were slices of cucumber. I’ve used this stuff since I was a teenager and it is honestly amazing. Keep it in the fridge if you need an even colder relief!
Needless to say, I also buy tissues in bulk – using toilet roll as tissue only ends badly – and anti-histamines are a must. I also find that no matter how warm it is, it’s honestly better to be covered in sweat at night and have the window shut, then wake up feeling like you can’t breathe. (I feel like I’ve painted such a pretty picture for you all with this post…)
How do you fight the pollen? Please (like, really) let me know your advice!