Seasonal allergy sufferers are in for a longer ride than usual, as climate change has not only seen warmer weather around the globe, but also a longer pollen season – 11 to 27 days longer, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, South Africa’s national average temperature has increased twice as fast as global temperatures since 1990, says the USAID, which could mean up to 21% more pollen for us.
However you look at it, warmer temperatures mean longer pollen seasons and more pollen means stronger airborne allergens, poorer air quality, and more allergies. Besides hay fever symptoms being downright irritating, they can also affect your sleep, which in turn has an impact on your brain’s ability to function normally on a daily basis.
There are, luckily, a couple of easy steps you can take to prevent the sniffling, sneezing and feeling itchy during the blossoming season. We asked Solenco to share five tips with us:
Shower before bed: Pollen and other allergens get trapped in our hair during the day and then make their way into our airways. If you don’t shower at night, you essentially spend eight hours with the triggers you’re otherwise trying to avoid.
Don’t remove your nose hair: The hairs in your nose act as a defensive wall that keeps allergens out. Sneezing, while often seen as a symptom, is actually an immune response triggered by your nose hairs to expel allergens.
Allergy-proof your home: Pollen counts are highest in the early morning and evening, so keep doors and windows closed at these times. Tiled floors are easier to keep dust-free than carpets. Dust with a damp cloth so that allergens are absorbed and disposed of.
Purify the air: Investing in an air purifier can help remove pollen and other allergens inside your home. You want to aim to get an H13 HEPA filter in your air purifier to remove 99,8% of particles in the air.
Keep mould away: If you live in a humid climate, try to keep your home mould free with the help of a dehumidifier to prevent damp and mould from settling in.
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