It's that time of year. The days are long, the weather's good (well, it's warm at least)... and of course you can't see or smell a thing because of your hay fever.
With the Met Office confirming that pollen counts are at severe levels across most of the UK for the rest of the week, there are a few ways to help save you the misery of a bad night's sleep - on top of the daily torture of hay fever symptoms.
Tuesday to Thursday is looking like bad news for the hayfever crew. Credit: Met Office
People who have hay fever are allergic to pollen. During high pollen count periods, they experience itchy eyes and throat; sneezing; blocked or runny nose; red, watery eyes; headaches... the list goes on. Essentially it's like having an itchy cold that's caused by good weather, not a virus.
According to AllergyUK, hay fever (allergic rhinitis) affects between 10 and 30 percent of all adults, and up to 40 percent of children. Of those, up to 57 percent of adults have 'decreased cognitive function' and 'daytime fatigue' directly as a result of hay fever at night - which basically means you're shattered.
From pharmaceuticals, to home remedies, there are a loads of suggestions to help yourself have a good night's sleep - one study even suggested that sex can do the trick.
One of the most effective ways to escape an allergic reaction to something is to avoid it completely, but obviously, not leaving the house for days on end is a luxury few of us can afford. Imagine your boss' face if you called in sick because of your hay fever? I doubt it would wash.
The pollen count for the next few days is the stuff of nightmares for hayfever sufferers. Credit: Pexels
But you can try to avoid it as much as possible - keep an eye on pollen forecasts daily and stay indoors wherever possible when the count is high. This is usually on warmer, dry days, but the weather we've had recently has created a strange environment for allergens, with the humidity and thunderstorms forecast creating a high risk of fungal spores - which have the same effect for many as pollen.
Keeping your windows shut at night and in the morning will help to keep that pesky pollen from floating in on the breeze. If you're feeling too hot, try to put your pillow case in the freezer before bed, or else try freezing a hot water bottle and taking it to bed with you. You can actually buy anti-allergy and hypoallergenic pillows too.
Showering and washing your hair as soon as you get home will also help to keep pollen out of your bed and home - all helping towards that much-sought-after good night's sleep.
Using medicated eye drops can help with watery and itchy peepers. Credit: PA
Another tip that logically makes sense but will probably feel a bit grim is to make yourself a little Vaseline nose barrier. Putting some petroleum jelly under your nose when you go to bed supposedly traps pollen before it manages to make its way up there.
In terms of medicine, there are a whole load of anti-histamine tablets, nasal sprays and eye drops out there - but always ask your GP before starting a new kind of medication.
Stay safe out there this summer, pals.
Featured Image Credit: PA