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Why does hay fever still affect you when you’re indoors?

With the pollen count soaring as we head into summer, you might find you start to suffer from sore throats, streaming eyes and blocked noses on a daily basis.

Even if you spend the majority of your time indoors, this doesn’t guarantee that you’ll become symptom-free. We’ll explain why, and also what you can do to help…

What ACTUALLY causes hay fever?

Hay fever essentially is an allergic reaction to pollen - when it is inhaled or touches the nose/eyes, it triggers an immune response. The severity of response will vary greatly - with some being allergic to all plants, and others only some. 

Learn more about this in this article by AllergyUK

A woman blowing seeds off of a dandelion

The worst period for hayfever sufferers tends to be from May till the end of June (grass pollen) and August to September, when other plants release their pollen later on in the season. The windier the day, the worse your symptoms are likely to be, as the pollen is carried within the air.

How come it doesn’t help when I go inside?

Unfortunately for us, pollen grains are so small and lightweight that they can easily be picked up by slight gusts of wind and they can enter your home through most gaps.

Although you’re more likely to experience a reaction whilst you’re out and about, pollen particles are tiny and can travel far. Therefore, if you’re outside, you’re likely going to bring them back into the house on your clothes, footwear, hair and skin.

We’d recommend that any severe hay fever sufferers have a shower and wash their hair before sleeping. We’d also suggest getting changed away from your bedroom to avoid bringing the pollen into there. 

Pets are also notorious pollen spreaders as it sticks to their fur to be brought indoors.

Although you may think that keeping your windows shut is the best option to reduce the risk of pollen entering, it will also stop pollen from exiting - meaning that it can build up to high levels indoors as a result. 

Of course, shutting the windows can also mean your house gets uncomfortably hot on a warm, sunny day.

So, how can I help myself?

There are a few different methods to reducing your pollen count indoors - including washing your household items such as towels, bed sheets, sofa covers and cushions as much as possible. This will help to remove dust and pollen particles that may have settled there. Bedding is particularly vital to keep clean, as particles can attach themselves to you overnight, meaning that you’re likely to wake up with some nasty symptoms. Vacuuming can also help reduce pollen indoors.

Try to avoid getting pollen into your bedroom

Another suggestion is to ensure you take medication regularly whilst your symptoms are bad. There are many anti-allergy items on the market such as tablets, nose sprays, balms and eye drops that can help to make you feel better (but bear in mind, this won’t address the core problem of reducing pollen particles within your home!). 

The best way to reduce your pollen count indoors (and therefore your hay fever symptoms) is through good, constant air flow, provided that the air is filtered before entering your home. Ventilation systems like MVHR will draw the air into the building through HEPA filters - which are small enough to remove pollen - and disperse this fresh, clean air through the home. As the fresh air enters the house, the air that’s already indoors can be pushed or sucked back outside - taking dust and pollen along with it!

If you have an efficient ventilation system in place, the levels of pollen in your home should not build up to a point to trigger any allergies.

If you’d like to find out more, please contact us today for free, no-obligation advice.

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