The number of pollen has been predicted as moderate throughout the United Kingdom today by the Met Office, but this could still mean problems for those who suffer from hay fever. During this time of the year, the pollen of birches, ash and oak triggers the symptoms in allergic people: symptoms such as runny nose, itchy eyes and cough. The recommended treatments for hay fever include antihistamine tablets and nasal sprays, but they do not always work for everyone. And as a result, many people seek more natural remedies.
Over the years, some alternative ways to prevent hay fever have become popular, such as eating local honey, putting sticky balsams around the nostrils and standing in front of an open refrigerator door.
But according to the pollen expert, Dr. Jean Emberlin, these preventive methods are not effective.
Many health professionals recommend putting sticky balsams around the nostrils to capture the pollen before it enters the body.
But according to Dr. Emberlin, this only catches some pollen from the airflow, and most of it is still ingested.
She said: "I usually use the analogy of a chimney and the smoke going up.
"If you put something sticky on the bottom, it will catch some of the smoke, but most will continue through the chimney.
"Some experiments have been conducted on the effectiveness of sticky balsams to prevent pollen from entering the body, and they have shown that it is not enough to make a difference."
Many people believe that eating local honey can help protect the immune system against hay fever, because bees handle pollen.
But the main trigger of hay fever is pollen dispersed by the wind, for example, pollen from trees and grass.
Dr. Emberlin said: "I have researched a lot of honey and I have never seen a grain of grass pollen in honey, so there is no scientific basis for that."
"Honey could be good in other ways, but not for this purpose."
Many hay fever sufferers claim that it helps them stand in front of an open refrigerator door.
But once again, there is no evidence to support this. Dr. Emberlin advised: "The flow of cold air can be comforting, but the symptoms of hay fever are unlikely to disappear."
The preventive methods for hay fever recommended by Dr. Emberlin include:
Some experts recommend taking supplements to relieve the symptoms of hay fever.