With the onset of what has so far been a rather fantastic bit of Summer weather, hay-fever victims everywhere are locking their doors and windows to prevent pollen infestation. Surely, though, we don’t all need to hide indoors every time the weather perks up a bit?
The answer, of course, comes courtesy of the equally impressive onslaught of hay-fever relief adverts on the television, which have sufferers everywhere squinting through itchy eyes at promises of all-day, non-drowsy escape from symptoms such as streaming eyes and noses.
The problem is, with so many products on the market, which should you pick to finally kill off the effects of simple pollen? I bought up a load of different pills, potions and devices and prepared to test them by rubbing myself vigorously on trees and flowers. Here are the results of my simple, non-scientific, non-medical tests.
Test 1 – Pills
This test started well. These days pills are easy to take, and hay-fever relief pills are the tiniest of their kind. As far as effectiveness goes, the one-a-day label of these tablets didn’t translate into all-day-relief with the effect wearing off before the day was over. It might be co-incidence, but these tablets also coincided with headaches on a regular basis. Several brands were tested, all yielded the same result.
Test 2 – The Rudolf Device
If you don’t know what the Rudolf Device is, it is essentially a pair of glass prongs that you stick up your nose. These prongs glow with red-light, distributing some kind of light-therapy that over time gives you relief from the symptoms of hay-fever. The bright lights turn your whole nose red, hence the name. Strangely, this device does appear to have something going for it, giving more relief than the pills – although you have to use it several times a day and keep regular with it to build up the effects.
Test 3 – The Arm Band
The arm band works on the same principle as sea-sickness bands, except you have to put them near to your elbow. This is a pretty uncomfortable solution and you have to have it positioned “just right” to get any benefit. It seemed to work, so long as I didn’t move around too much in a way that would dislodge it.
Test 4 – The Squirt
This is a simple squirting device that shoots a liquid up your nose. It’s not a pleasant sensation, but this was the most effective treatment for me. You just shove it up your nose twice a day and it’s like you don’t have hay-fever any more.
Test 5 – The Filters
These little filters get stuffed up your nose and are intended to reduce the pollen making its way up there. Not a bad idea in principle, but if you want to use this technique I found two stubs of tissue were much more effective thanks to their additional feature: absorbency.
Please note, the purpose of this article isn’t to tell you to use any of these pills, squirters or devices – your best plan for true hay-fever relief is to perform the same experiment as me to find out what works for you.