One in five Irish people suffer from hay fever

“Start early, and you can reduce or even prevent symptoms of hay fever,” says Éva Hill-Hamilton, Registered Nutritional Therapist. 

Lifestyle Reporter

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Lifestyle Reporter

10 tips for dealing with hayfever

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Allergy season is almost upon us and while one in five Irish adults claim to suffer from hay fever, more than one in four say they don’t know how to help their symptoms.

Of those that do take medication, there is a lot of confusion as to how best to treat, manage or prevent symptoms. The majority of people, or 84 percent, said that they do not know what products will help, while the remaining 14 percent claim they have tried everything.

The research, commissioned by Scope Healthcare and conducted by Ignite research among 1,000 Irish people, found that more than 40 percent of Irish people are suffering with allergies and 20 percent of those are suffering with hay fever alone.

50 percent of those with allergies class their symptoms as moderate, while one in ten say they experience severe symptoms.

With so many people leaving their symptoms untreated, it is no surprise that allergies are limiting the day-to-day activities for sufferers:

- More than one-third (35 percent) report problems with sleep;

- More than one-third (35 percent) said that allergies affect their mood;

- Almost one in five (17 percent) said that allergies are preventing them from socialising and eating out;

- One in 10 said that allergies restrict their travel plans; and

- Almost one in 10 (9 percent) said that allergies affect their driving.

Hay fever is associated with an oversensitive immune system. Over 70 percent of your immune system is located in the gut and when the gut flora is out of sync, so too is your immune system.

The best way to tackle hay fever is to balance the two sides of the immune system; supply the body with beneficial bacteria and create an environment for them to colonise and work for our benefit. Many experts are now recommending probiotics to help rebalance gut flora and support a healthy immune system.

Commenting on the findings, Eva Hamilton, Registered Nutritional Therapist said: “Hay fever symptoms can be reduced – or even prevented – if good gut health is maintained. Some ways to maintain a healthy gut are by taking a multi-strain live bacteria supplement like Bio-Kult, swapping pro-inflammatory foods like sugars, alcohol and trans-fats with anti-inflammatory essential fats and antioxidants, and introducing gentle herbal teas with anti-histamine properties such as nettle, liquorice or peppermint.

“In addition, certain eye drops, such as Hylo-Dual Eye Spray, form a barrier in front of the eye, preventing pollens to get access, while nasal rinses with saline solutions can remove aggravating trapped allergens. Practice these several times a day during hay fever season. But remember – it is better to work on prevention than struggle with the symptoms.”

Commenting on the findings, Sarah Ussher, Scope Healthcare said: “Looking after your gut will not only help to prevent your hay fever symptoms but it will also improve your overall digestion and energy levels. 70% of the immune system is located in the gut so looking after it should be a priority for everyone.

“Bio-Kult offers a full range of multi-strain live bacteria supplements. There are four to choose from, including one for infants. It is recommended to begin taking the supplement a month before the pollen count gets to its highest and in Ireland that begins in May.”

To find out more about Scope Healthcare’s Bio-Kult products visit: here