The beginning of summer is not the only time when allergies flare up in South Africa. Although hay fever season typically starts with the trees pollinating from August until October, the months of November to April is when grass pollen takes over.
“It is widely assumed that springtime is when allergies start to affect us, but the truth is allergy season can continue for many more months afterwards with only a small reprise during winter,” explained Mario Correia, brand manager for decongestant brand Karvol.
“Those who suffer from allergies know that it is nothing to sneeze at. Between the coughing, the wheezing, the sniffing, and the watering eyes, it is a not a pleasant experience, and when you find something that helps to alleviate the symptoms you stick to it,” said Correia.
Correia suggests the following five tips on how to help alleviate the symptoms of allergies:
- Stay hydrated, as drinking more will help with a stuffy nose or a postnasal drip. Drinking more water and juice allows for the extra liquid to thin the mucus in the nasal passages and provide some relief. Warm drinks such as tea or soup provides the added benefit of steam as well.
- Rid your house of what is making you sneeze – be it dust or flowers.
- Humidifiers are a must in your home during the dry months as it adds moisture to a room to soothe dry and irritated nasal passages. Make sure to clean out the filter regularly.
- When it comes to steam, steaming yourself over a basin, a bowl or even in the shower or bath helps to ease a stuffy nose and allows you to breathe easier. Place a towel over your head to trap the steam and inhale.
- If possible, stay away from environments that you know stir up your allergies. On windy days, it is better to stay indoors as the wind picks up various allergens. After it has just rained is a good time to go outside as this is when the air is cleared from pollen.