Hay fever expert explains how laundry habits can make allergy symptoms worse

The shortage of hay fever medication will be terrible news for many, but an allergy expert says certain laundry habits can make allergies worse or worse.

Boots and Superdrug have reported shortages of antihistamines, which sadly couldn’t come at a worse time.

GlaxoSmithKline, the maker of the Piriton and Piriteze drug brands, blamed the case on temporary supply problems.

Pollen makes its presence known to hay fever sufferers without pills to ease symptoms.

appliance company AEG asked Professor Adam Foxpresident of the British Society for Allergy And Clinical Immunology (BSACI), for some advice.

Professor Fox, who is Professor of Pediatric Allergy at Guy’s and St Thomas’s Hospitals, explained how your washing habits could amplify hay fever symptoms.

How laundry habits can help or hurt hay fever symptoms

Hanging laundry outside is prohibited as it attracts pollen

1. Think about when you hang your clothes to dry

Hanging clothes to dry outside on a clothesline can allow pollen to accumulate on your clean laundry.

We all love the fresh scent that comes with drying clothes outdoors, but consider how long you hang out your laundry.

Pollen rises in the morning, so it is better to hang out your laundry after noon.

2. Maintain mask hygiene

Although face coverings form a barrier when it comes to pollen in the air, over time reusable masks collect pollen.

Be sure to wash your masks regularly during the summer months. This is especially important because face masks are incredibly close to our noses and eyes.

3. Shower more often

After spending the day outside, pollen sticks not only to our clothes, but also to our hair and body. For this reason, showering before bedtime is a must.

If you don’t shower, the pollen that accumulates on your body throughout the day will be transferred to your bed, which could continue to aggravate your seasonal allergies for weeks!

4. Wash pillowcases every few days

Woman's hand loading blue sheets into a white washing machine.
Professor Fox advises people with hay fever to change their pillowcase often

If you have the window open during the day to ventilate your room, you could also be inviting pollen through the night.

Our eyes and nose are incredibly close to our pillowcases for a long time while we sleep and if these are covered in pollen we could make our allergies worse.

Be sure to wash pillowcases as regularly as possible in spring and summer.

5. Take off your clothes before entering the bedroom

Pollen really clings to soft fabrics, which means that if you’ve spent an entire day outside, you’ll likely be carrying pollen inside, which could make you worse later.

The best advice is to undress before entering the bedroom.

6. Watch out for open windows when drying clothes indoors

An alternative to drying outdoors is to dry clothes indoors on drying racks, where the warmer air will definitely do a short job of drying your clothes.

But be careful with open windows, as they will still allow pollen to enter and settle on your clothes almost as much as if they were hanging outside.

If you suffer from hay fever, it’s best to make sure these windows are closed if you dry your clothes indoors to minimize the transfer of pollen to clean laundry.

7. Know your pollen count

Hay fever and allergy tablets seen on sale at a pharmacy on August 30, 2018 in Cardiff, UK.  (Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)
Boots and Superdrug have reported shortages of hay fever tablets

You may notice during the summer months that many regional and national weather forecasts include a pollen count.

It is a measure of the amount of pollen particles in the air in low, medium or high form.

Of course, on days with high pollen counts you are more likely to suffer from allergies, so if possible you should avoid hanging your laundry out to dry on those days.

It’s a good idea to keep an eye on the pollen count if you can; one of the best sources of information is the University of Worcester which has detailed information on pollen forecasts.

Wind direction can play an important role in pollen counts, with some regions generally having higher pollen counts than others.

Those who live near the sea tend to enjoy lower pollen counts as winds tend to blow pollen particles inland, but those who live in the countryside will naturally have lower pollen counts. higher.

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