Hayfever

I was told, aged 11, that I would grow out of it.

Here I am, aged 59 ½, sniffling and snuffling with the best of them.

To be fair, it’s not nearly as bad as it used to be – I used to be a mess of itchiness (the eyes! the throat!), sneezes and sniffles from April through to September. Now I really only suffer for a couple of months.

But it seems particularly bad at the moment – I’ve taken more tablets in the last 3 or 4 days than in the whole of the season so far. And for me, it’s often worse just after it’s rained. I’d always thought that was weird until I googled it just now and it turns out to be a thing! Who knew!

So right now, after the thunderstorms yesterday, and because the tablet I took before I went to bed has now worn off, and because it’s so warm I slept with the window open, I’m sniffly, my eyes itch and my skin itches. Even the inside of my ears and the corners of my mouth itch. I’m only supposed to take two tablets a day, so I should really wait until about 8 o’clock before I take another one.

I’ve always felt I needed to apologise to people and to explain that it isn’t a cold, it’s hayfever – but these days, even more so, as I can feel people looking at this snivelling wretch and wondering if it’s coronavirus (even though sneezing, itchy eyes, and a desire to stay indoors aren’t symptoms of coronavirus).

Over the years, I’ve tried various remedies and preventive measures. My mother was a great believer in splashing the face with cold water. And to be fair it did give some temporary relief – for about 5 seconds – I guess it physically washed the  pollen away. But it always came back.

Eat honey, some people said. I don’t like honey really, not in the large quantities that would be needed. And it’s got to be local honey – not much help to a city girl like me!

Many years ago I got my tablets on prescription, but now they’re available over the counter. That makes life easier, I can just pick them up at the supermarket with my shopping.

I used to find that wearing sunglasses outside helped with the itchy eyes – I guess it’s a physical barrier – and now that I wear glasses all the time the eyes aren’t as bad. But I still have to take them off to sleep, so I wake up with itchy eyes particularly on hot nights when the window’s open and it’s just been raining. Like last night.

Eating toast helps the itchy throat. So that’s breakfast sorted.

It’s also been better or worse depending on where I was living. Devon was a nightmare – all those narrow Devon lanes, you just couldn’t get away from it. Shetland was lovely, as so little grows up there anyway. Living on ships was a dream – until we got into port.

And over the course of the year, the symptoms change. I guess different pollen affects me in different ways. Sometimes I’ll be very sneezy, then the itchy throat drives me mad. Right now the skin around my face and neck is very tickly and itchy, particularly the corners of my mouth, the sides of my nose, and along my jawline.

And another thing – it doesn’t involve hay, and it doesn’t cause fever.

What’s the point of it? Do other animals get allergies? Bit of a design fault I think. Sniff.

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Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

12 Comments Add yours

  1. Alien Resort says:

    I had it too until I started using Flonase preventively.

    Like

    1. I haven’t come across that one – sounds like a nasal spray?

      Like

      1. Alien Resort says:

        Now it’s OTC. Any time you feel a symptom, do a daily dose. Eventually episodes will become fewer and shorter.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Liz says:

    Exactly like me.I live in Italy and the pharmacist advised me to use “ Stillergy”,eye drops,wow it’s a life changer,I used to look terrible at work as a Manager in the fashion sector ,I needed to look the buss,wish I’d had it then.

    Like

    1. It’s a nightmare. I remember being allowed to use eyedrops only (no tablets) when I was pregnant. Baby #1 was born September – nightmare. Better timing with baby #2, born April

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  3. anglosvizzera says:

    May not be your ‘thing’, but I know many people who have been helped with homeopathy. Obviously not a DIY solution, you’d have to see a properly qualified homeopath – the usual protocol is that a remedy is prescribed to help with the acute symptoms and another remedy will be given to suit your individual ‘constitution’ (eg your personality, preferences for foods, environment, heat/cold etc, family and medical history and so on) which will work in the background. It isn’t a quick-fix, usually takes a few years but each year the problem becomes milder and ultimately people become symptom-free. And it isn’t something that you need to take for ever – the rule is to use the ‘minimum dose’ so once improvement begins, you stop the remedy. They are cheap and harmless and designed to help the body heal itself.

    Obviously I’m biased as I’ve been using it for myself, the children, family and any pets or partners I’ve had for the past 30 years…

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    1. The people who first owned my house, back in 1911 seem to have been ‘big’ in homeopathy. They gave one of their sons the middle names ‘Hahnemann Swedenborg’ – I thought there must be a Scandinavian link until I googled the names, and it turns out they’re well known in the homeopathy world!!

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      1. anglosvizzera says:

        I think that might be taking things a little too far!! Even though homeopathy cured my son’s terrible eczema, even if it hadn’t been too late to have named him by the age of 4, I don’t think he’d have thanked me for that 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Sarah says:

    I’m the opposite I didn’t have hayfever as a child. It started after I had my first child and has been getting steadily worse each year. My children both have it. My son also has eczema and is very good at managing it himself these days.

    I find my symptoms worse after rain, glad to hear it is a thing not just me being freaky.

    When we sleep with the windows open I hang a damp sheet over the opening so the air passes through it, cooling us down further, this would also help to catch the pollen so you were less effected.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooo, I like the idea of a damp sheet in the window!!!

      Like

    2. anglosvizzera says:

      The thing I love about homeopathy is that it helps the body heal and become “non-allergic” whereas most strategies are to either avoid the trigger of the problem or just ‘manage’ it. Far better not to have the problem at all!!

      Like

      1. If homeopathy works for you, that’s great – but I have to declare an interest here, as the business I run with my ex is in the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry. xx

        Like

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