If you have a runny nose, streaming eyes and feel generally ratty, it might not necessarily be a cold or unmentionable virus!
The P-O is on red alert for pollen allergy. According to the RNSA (National Aerobiological Surveillance Network), responsible for the analysis of the content of the air, and the passing on of information about its health impact, cypress pollen is at a particularly high level in our region as well as the Hérault, Aude, Lozère, Aveyron and Tarn.
Hayfever (le rhume des foins) is an allergic reaction to the proteins in pollen, a fine powder released by plants as part of their reproductive cycle. Grass and cereal pollen (les graminées) are responsible for 95% of allergies and are particularly high in the P-O this year.
Up to one in five people will experience hay fever at some point in their life. When the pollen count is this high, it can also affect many people who have never had hay fever before, so if you have a runny nose and itchy eyes right now, it could well be le rhume des foins!
SOME TIPS FOR MANAGING HAY FEVER
Whilst you can’t cure hay fever, there are various things that you can do to ease your symptoms when the pollen count is high.
- Monitor local pollen forecasts to help you understand what you could be in for.
- Change your clothes/shower when you come in from outside. This will reduce your continued exposure to allergens that may have attached themselves to your clothes.
- Avoid cutting the grass (a good way to get out of working in the garden), as grass can trigger allergy symptoms, especially during late spring and summer.
- Wearing a filtered mask (like a surgeon’s mask) which can help to block the pollen when cutting grass is unavoidable.
- Purify the air with an air filter that traps small particles. Buy a pollen filter for the air vents in your car and a vacuum cleaner with a special HEPA filter
- Put Vaseline around your nostrils to trap pollen
- Wear wraparound sunglasses to stop pollen getting into your eyes.
- Dont keep fresh flowers in the house, dry clothes outside as they can catch pollen, or let your pets run in and out, as they can carry pollen indoors.