10 tips for pollen allergy sufferers

Pollen allergy, spring allergy, hay fever – there are many names and even more symptoms. Especially in spring, the air outside is full of pollen. Many people react with nasal itching, sneezing and watery eyes to these actually harmless pollen grains. In addition to medication, these symptoms can already be prevented with these simple 10 tips for hay fever:

Tip 1: Determine triggers of pollen allergy

Hay fever is caused by allergic reactions to different types of pollen. The triggers can be e.g. be determined by dermatologists with additional training in allergology. For this, methods such as the prick test or a blood test are used.

Dermatologist performs allergy prick test on the forearm

Tip 2: Outdoor activities only when pollen concentration is low

If the allergens are known, a pollen calendar helps to avoid them. Gardening or outdoor sports should be avoided during the main season of the respective pollen type. Generally, there is more pollen in the air on dry and hot days. A rain shower washes the particles out of the air, so that the concentration of pollen is lower afterwards.

Tip 3: Medicinal treatments for hay fever

Medicines for hay fever contain mainly these active ingredients:

Antihistamines (e.g. Cetirizine, loratadine): Effects kick in after about an hour and last up to 24 hours, can make you tired

Cortisone: use locally for acute symptoms, v. a. as a nasal spray

Cromoglicic acid: attenuates all symptoms of hay fever, is most effective when taken prophylactically before the onset of symptoms

A doctor should be consulted for use and dosage.

pictorial representation

If you suffer from hay fever or any other symptoms you can ask for our medical help.

Tip 4: Wiping, vacuuming and washing removes pollen grains

Only regular and thorough cleaning can remove pollen from indoor areas. In addition, these tips may help:

use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter

Don’t forget out-of-the-way places like blinds or lampshades

Do not dry laundry outdoors during pollen season

Extra tip: Decorative items are not called “dust catchers” without reason – they are difficult to clean from dust and pollen. If you don’t want to do without it, you should meticulously clean these items and/or keep them in closed cabinets during pollen season.

Long-floor carpet is vacuumed with a vacuum cleaner

Tip 5: Ventilate according to the time of day during the pollen season

In rural areas the pollen load is lower in the evening hours, in cities this is the case in the early morning. Pollen screens are another tool to keep allergy triggers out of your home.

Dr. Tamara Wald on the topic of airing:

“The seemingly smallest behaviors can have a big positive impact. To prevent allergic reactions it is important to avoid the allergens. For those with pollen allergies, proper ventilation, frequent brushing and set homecoming rituals can minimize contact.”

Self-test for at home: Pollen allergy test from cerascreen at Fernarzt

Find out if you react to grass or flower pollen with a self-test. Simply order the appropriate test kit, take a blood sample at home, send the sample to the certified professional laboratory and receive a comprehensive analysis with personalized recommendations.

Tip 6: Homecoming rituals against bringing in pollen

To bring as little pollen as possible from outside into the living rooms, you can establish your own homecoming rituals.

Here are some suggestions:

Leave jackets and shoes in the hallway

Clean bags and backpacks from the outside

Tip 7: Thoroughly remove pollen in the evening

Showering including hair washing removes pollen from skin and hair. During pollen season, changing bedding and towels more frequently is helpful for allergy sufferers to prevent allergy symptoms.

Sleeping woman snuggles into her pillow

Tip 8: Breathing mask against pollen

In a study it was proven that an increased pollen concentration in the air significantly increases the risk of infection with (corona) viruses. If pollen comes into contact with the mucous membranes, the immune system is weakened. Even people without pollen allergies have an increased risk of contracting viral infections as a result. An effective protection is a respiratory mask (e.g. FFP2), because it serves as a mechanical barrier against pollen. Especially allergy sufferers should pay attention to a regular change and the correct handling of the mask.

Tip 9: Increased risk of accidents for allergy sufferers while driving

Symptoms such as severe sneezing and watery eyes can be particularly dangerous when driving a car. If there is an increased pollen count, car windows should be kept closed and ventilation should only be used with a special pollen filter.

Pollen dust on car windshields

Tip 10: The best home remedies for pollen allergies

Ginger tea for pollen allergies and colds

Ginger tea helps with allergy- or cold-related colds. It supports the blood circulation of the mucous membranes and the subsiding of the inflammation. To do this, peel a thumb-sized piece of ginger, cut it into slices and brew it in a cup of boiling water.

Women's hands with homemade ginger tea in glass cup

Rinse pollen from the mucous membranes with nasal douches

Nasal douches can be purchased in pharmacies and drugstores. You can make the rinsing solution yourself (dissolve 9 g of table salt in one liter of warm water). Use nasal irrigation according to instructions; this rinses out the pollen adhering to the mucous membranes of the nose.

Steam inhalation against cough and acute itching

Inhaling a salt water solution helps with a dry cough or congested bronchial tubes. The respiratory tract is moistened and mucus is loosened; in addition, the salt has a disinfecting effect. Mix one liter of boiling water in a bowl with 9 g of salt (preferably sea salt). With a towel over the head then inhale for 10 minutes. This application has an additional soothing effect on acute itching in the nose, throat and pharynx.

In case of severe or worsening symptoms such as shortness of breath, consult a doctor immediately.