Hay fever is not one of the usual topics we cover here at Who Can Cut It? But if you suffer like me, you’re probably not looking or feeling your best right now.

It’s not only puffy, runny eyes and a lot of sniffling and sneezing that are the main problems, for me it’s the tired eyes, from disturbed sleep and feeling generally spaced out thanks to the medication.

Grass and tree pollen are the biggest triggers of hay fever here in the UK, affecting around 95% of all sufferers.

If you’re among those currently wanting to hide away, we’ve got some top tips and some surprising facts thanks to the team over at HayMax, the organic drug-free allergen barrier balm.

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10 unexpected facts about your hay fever

1. Bumblebees’ perfect pitch makes pollen explode! Bumblebees make a buzzing sound in the tone of middle C, causing flowers to explosively release pollen.

2. Your pet could be a walking pollen bomb! Cat and dog fur is perfect for trapping pollen so for those of you who have pets, it’s imperative to wash and brush them regularly.

3. Avoid fast food if you have hay fever This is because processed, deep fried foods stimulate mucus, which can build up in the throat and make your hay fever symptoms worse.

4. The physician John Bostock first described hay fever in 1819.[3] His paper read to the Medical and Chirurgical Society on 16 March 1819 on summer catarrh was the first description of hay fever. He presented an interesting ‘Case of a periodical affection of the eyes and chest’, the first recorded description of what he later called ‘catarrhus aestivus’ or summer catarrh, and which soon became known as hay fever.

5. Eating yoghurt can help your hay fever! Probiotic yoghurt, that is. New research from the University of Florida demonstrates that probiotics may help to reduce hay fever. This is because probiotics increase the body’s percentage of regulatory T-cells, which in turn helps to increase tolerance to the allergy’s symptoms.

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6. Organic allergen barrier balms can stop pollen getting into your body and triggering hay fever symptoms. HayMax organic, drug-free allergen barrier balms have been proven to trap over one-third of pollen grains before they enter the body.

7. Blame your parents? If one of your parents suffers from hay fever, you have a much greater chance of having it yourself. You’re also more likely to get it if you are the eldest child.

8. The term ‘hay fever’ was first used by The Times in 1827, when it reported that the Duke of Devonshire was “afflicted with what is vulgarly called the Hay-fever, which annually drives him from London to some sea-port”.

9. Famous hay fever sufferers include Jon Bon Jovi, Guns and Roses Bass player Tommy Stinson, Eastenders actor Jack Ryder, sports commentator John Inverdale and comedian, writer and actress, Helen Lederer.

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10. Your hay fever could make you unfit to drive! If you’re suffering from hay fever, the medication you choose could make you unfit to drive. A new survey by Confused.com found that (64%) of hay fever sufferers admitted to driving after taking medication. 55% stated they had felt drowsy, 35% said that they had blurry vision after taking hay fever medication. And 7% stated that their ability to drive had in one instance been impaired while taking hay fever medication. 4% of these people had been involved in a road accident as a result of driving after taking their hay fever medication. However, using a drug-free, non-drowsy organic allergen barrier balm, HayMax, won’t give you these unwanted side-effects when you’re driving.

HayMax organic drug-free allergen barrier balms retail at £6.99 per pot and are available from Holland & Barrett; selected Morrisons, Waitrose and Boots; independent chemists, pharmacists and health stores; on 01525 406600 and from haymax.biz.

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