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Beating the Evil Pollen Particles

Posted May 24 2010 12:00am

…My car is covered in a blanket of fine yellow pollen…

Q: Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?

A: It’s mainly a rose garden-we got rid of the huge grasses that spread the EPPs around!

If the EPPs are sticking to the very shiny surface of my lovely Merc, then heaven help me-that means they’re sticking to every surface in my house too-well, they would if I would so much as let them.

There are ways of beating the pollen. Most of which are common sense to those of us with allergies, but I thought it good to share a few more. Some may be Old Wives Tales to you guys but having practised what I preached, I believe they work to a greater extent. These are the ‘non prescribed’ methods. I guess you’re already taking a variety of Allegra, Flonase, Telfast, Clarityn, Nasonex etc !


On a personal note, it helps if you know what seasonal pollens you are allergic too. I have Birch and Horse Chestnut oral allergy syndrome-this also means I don’t eat apples or kiwi as my mouth itches and swells. My worst summer allergies are Rape and Wheat grasses (I have a Gliadin allergy) I used to live in the countryside, surrounded by huge yellow fields of Rape. I suffered intensely from the worst summer asthma through my 20s. Then I moved back to London and improved for a time.

So apart from the usual ‘take a shower as soon as you come in from outside’, ‘change to contact lenses’ (this has always helped me as my eyes start up as soon as I take mine out in the evening), here is my recipe book of anti pollen ideas:

1) Try not to open windows at the beginning and end of the day, especially if there is a breeze outside: As the pollen rises/falls it will just get blown in.

2) However, if like me you are an ‘air hungry’ asthmatic, invest in very fine mesh net curtains and wash them weekly. This is what I am currently doing. If you really need the cool fresh air-open all the internal doors and use bowls of ice in front of fans to cool your room air.

3) If you have an aircon system use Hepa filters. Invest in a Dyson allergy vacuum, again with Hepa filters. We now have two. One specifically for the car! Wash the filters monthly and maintain them as per the manufacturer. I have been so much better since we switched from a regular bag hoover to Dysons.

(( Incidentally-we also had an extra pollen filter fitted to the Merc-some manufacturers can do this. So we have a double pollen filtration system and a charcoal filter. We never open the windows in the car and always wipe down the dash and use the mini Dyson))

4) Damp dust daily-especially the surfaces around your bed. If there is dust, at this time of year there will be EPPs in it too. Get rid of them both with a wet cloth. I also use those anti static dusters but find they still just flick it from surface to surface.

5) Wash floors/wipe TVs. All the static places will collect the pollen too-for me I even wipe my piano keys. I’m bound to scratch my nose or rub my eyes at some point during practising!

So those are the common sense methods that help me considerably and most asthmatics/hay fever sufferers generally put into practice.

However, did you know….

1) Vaseline inserted with a cotton bud inside your nostrils will help ‘catch’ the pollen so that you don’t inhale it into your respiratory system. I use Ayr-a special saline gel for oxygen users it helps keep my nose hydrated as well as catching the pollen.

2) Beetroot Juice!

Yep! Boil up some red beets and snort the liquid-up your nose one side at a time. If you’re having a terrible time with a  pouring allergic nose, this may sound gross and a tad bizarre, but I promise you, beetroot is one of nature’s superfoods and it works!

3) If you don’t fancy having a faint pink tinge to your shnozz, try doing it with saline. How many of you have noticed your nose gets better when you’re swimming in the ocean?

4) I use a Pari nasal irrigation kit (see the top picture) and their nasal salt solution (Montesol) to wash my sinuses out daily-sometimes twice a day. It has a really soothing effect, and helps thin/lessen the nasal discharge. You can buy these sorts of things OTT although mine came from the hospital.

Sadly, all of these things take time, the one thing most of us don’t have much of. But if you try a combination of any of the above hopefully you’ll find what helps you out.

….But if you can’t beat the pollen, try a space helmet instead….

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