Everyone has their own methods of managing hay fever, but which ones actually work? We uncover the best solutions to keep you looking and feeling your best this spring.
As the weather warms up, many are rejoicing at the onset of spring, but for others, the change in season means one thing: hay fever.
According to new research, hay fever isn't just a mildly irritating seasonal condition suffered by a minority but is actually stopping Aussies from seeing friends, attending outdoor events and even making it into work.
The study by Zyrtec found 42 per cent of hay fever sufferers feel unhappy while experiencing the symptoms and nearly 30 per cent of females with hay fever feel self-conscious and unattractive when their runny nose and red eyes strike.
It's no wonder the condition has such a negative impact on our mood when one in five Australians say they can't stand to be around people with persistent hayfever, Amcal Pharmacy found.
So how can we stop hay fever getting the better of us?
According to James Nevile, Senior Pharmacist at Amcal, stress has been linked with increasing hay fever symptoms.
At the end of a long day, unwind with a herbal tea with ginger and honey, which may relieve symptoms such as congestion and itchiness.
Invest in the right bedding
Hypoallergenic bedding is a must if you're a persistent sufferer of hay fever. Regularly wash your bedding and linen to keep it dust and pollen-free.
Time your antihistamine
Take an antihistamine before your commute home to get ahead of pollen levels, which increase in the late afternoon and early evening.
Prep your beauty regime
Model and Zyrtec ambassador Madeline Cowe switches her usual favourite beauty products for hay fever-proof alternatives during spring.
"I carry around concealer, because if my allergies do play up then I can fix the area after blowing my nose," she says. "Waterproof mascara is important for me because my eyes get watery. I also make sure I’m wearing a more long-wear foundation, so when I’m rubbing or wiping my face I’m not removing my makeup."
Shake up your diet
Apple cider vinegar is an age-old way of nipping allergy symptoms in the bud. Dilute a couple of tablespoons in a glass of water or add it to a smoothie with Vitamin C-rich foods like strawberries and kiwi fruit, which are another known natural antihistamine.
Pineapple is also packed full of bromelain, an enzyme with anti-inflammatory properties, so throw that in the mix, too.
Tie up long hair
Hair is a pollen-magnet, so tying up long hair and wearing it high on the crown of your head can reduce the amount of pollen that makes it into our sinuses.
The surfaces in your home and workplace might be dust-free, but are you? Wash your hands regularly and shower and shampoo your hair every night after you've been outside to ensure any pollen residue is removed from your body and kept away from your nose.
Protecting your eyes from pollen throughout hay fever season can help lessen irritation and itchiness, James says. Sunglasses are a great way to do this, just opt for lenses that cover as much of your eye area as possible and utilise a small eye bath for high pollen days.