Your lifestyle can affect how severe your hay fever symptoms are.
A recent report, based on a survey of more than 2,000 people with hay fever, found that lifestyle factors, such as stress and exercise, can have a major impact on hay fever. The report offers the following tips to stop the sneezing.
1. Calm down
Try to reduce your stress levels. The survey showed a clear link between stress and the severity of hay fever symptoms. Almost seven out of ten stressed-out hay fever sufferers rate their symptoms as unbearable or debilitating. As stress levels drop, symptoms become milder. For more information, read about stress management
2. Exercise more
Regular exercise can improve your hay fever. The survey found that people with hay fever who exercise most have the mildest symptoms. Exercise will help reduce your stress levels, too.
Aim to do 30 minutes of exercise, at least five times a week. However, during hay fever season, avoid exercising outdoors when the pollen count is high. This is generally first thing in the morning and early evening. Instead, exercise in late morning or afternoon when pollen counts tend to be lowest. If pollen counts are really high, stick to indoor exercise, for example at your local gym or swimming pool.
For more information and practical advice on exercise, read about getting fit.
3. Eat well
The survey suggests that people with hay fever who eat a healthy diet
are less likely to get severe symptoms.
Eat a varied, balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables, but be aware than some healthy foods can make hay fever symptoms worse. Foods that can worsen hay fever symptoms include apples, tomatoes, stoned fruits, melons, bananas and celery.
For more tips and information, read about eating healthily.
4. Cut down on alcohol
Try to reduce your alcohol intake during the hay fever season. The report concluded that as well as making you more sensitive to pollen, alcohol also dehydrates you, making symptoms seem worse.
For more advice on how to cut down on your drinking, read these articles about alcohol.
5. Sleep well
Try to avoid too many late nights during the hay fever season. The survey found that people with hay fever who get a good night's sleep
tend to have the mildest symptoms. Just one in eight (13%) people who had at least seven hours sleep a night reported severe symptoms, compared with one in five (21%) who regularly had five hours sleep or less a night.
For help getting a good night's sleep, read about sleeping better.