British Lung Foundation
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Prisoner of pollen

Hi everyone, I know many will be dealing with the effects of such high pollen. Im wondering how people are coping. All tips welcome.

In addition to having a virus started Saturday, Im so breathless and my sats have dropped so that they have brought me a concentrator to deal with it. Heat isn't helping of course, and we are using the two doors of our little porch as an airlock making sure they are never both open at the same time. All windows closed, blinds down against the sun. The dog is being wiped down when she comes in from outside. Me, I am not my usual sunny self haha.

SO: I have two questions. First has anyone seen any info about how long these high grass pollen levels are likely to last? Climate change may make it hard to know the answer to that and so far I haven't managed to find one.

Secondly can anyone experienced a good mask which will filter out the pollen? There are so many on the net, hard to know which would work best.

Take care everyone - after such a heavy winter, now we have another challenge to survive. No justice! xx

Edit: just to say I have copd, bronchiectasis, and asthma since 20s. It's the asthma I think is being most affected.

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Put your post code and google Pollen count for your area x

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Thanks Dorothy :)

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So sorry to hear that you are in this situation. Normally I have not been affected by pollen but at present, like you, I have decided to stay indoors and avoid it as much as possible. Cooler and wetter weather is forecast for the weekend so let’s hope that will bring some relief.

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That would be lovely Pentreath, though like others are saying, I think the pollen will be around all of July.

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Its more the heat that is keeping me inside, when its this hot (as it is UK South - 27C today for me) Heat of course exacerbates symptoms as well.

I am taking anti histamine each evening citrizine prescribed by doc. 1 tablet daily. It makes me really sleepy so I would't take it during the day. I tried half a dose but it doesn't work as well.

I have the Vogmask with air vent, you can buy them on Amazon and research them on the web. But if the antihistamine works you may not need one. I have one as a back up for high dust, fire, air pollution etc

Google search may interest you - 'pollen areas uk throughout the year' -take your pick:

google.co.uk/search?q=polle...

Have to admit I always check the met office each day for temperature, UV, pollen, humidity, you just have to put in your area to get 5 day forecast so can plan the week better.

Grass pollen is usually always very high July time, so you can bank on all of July it being high, but do check the weather forecast for your area at the met office daily, it helps to know what's going on.

Here is a link for all of UK Pollen forecast through to Saturday - today its Very High for most areas (if you scroll down the page you can see the annual calendar of pollens) metoffice.gov.uk/public/wea...

Yes keep windows closed and shaded on the outside if you can also, only open windows on the shady side of the house, early morning or late evening as the sun goes down.

Recommend the dyson fan to keep cool :)

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Great load of info Bkin, thanks. I was managing the heat until both virus and grass pollen came along. Ive heard of that Dyson fan, quite expensive though? The Cetirizine isn't enough now though its been good for some time but the stronger one Ive been given now isn't helping either. Thanks for the links and Im going to look up the Vogmask. Take care x :)

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You can get the dyson fan with air purifier filters now, look out for special offers on the dyson site, or at local stores, Amazon sometimes, black friday etc. but to be sure you are getting a good deal anywhere check dyson website against what you are viewing. Dyson are well worth the investment for looking after lungs. Like good shoes they are expensive but worth it for the comfort.

Hope you are feeling better soon 02.

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Thank you Bkin - just had terrifying coughing fit where mucus totally blocks off airways for about a second - feels more like 5 minutes! I will investigate the Dyson. Thanks for the info.

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Dear Jean,just a quick link with regard to pollen forecasts,hope it may be of some use?

metoffice.gov.uk/public/wea...

love Ski's and Scruffs xx

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oops Bkin beat me to it lol :) x

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great minds :D ;)

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Thanks Ski's, useful :) :)

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Wishing you well O2 and cooler days to come. You’re doing all the right things. Breathe easy. Xxx

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Thanks Sassy, best to Pete and yourself :) x

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I am in Michigan in the US and my sinus's and allergy's are a bear to deal with! This year, I did my daughters theory, I got some honey from Lake Michigan honey. My daughter said you need honey that is local, so whatever the bees are pollinating near you. I take a teaspoon a day and Guess what! I have been ok this year so far! Thank God! Hope this helps! Janet 127

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You know what Janet? I did read about that - should have put a note in my diary to remind me. So thank you for that. I wonder if it would help now - I read you should start doing it ahead of the grass pollen season.

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Do you know someone else said the very same thing in front of me a few days ago. Says it has to be local honey. They said they have been clear ever since they started taking it. It does make sense doesn't it? x

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Im off for some toast and honey right now. :) x

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Sounds nice. x

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Hi Janet127, how long have you been taking this for, and how long before you felt the effects, thanks for sharing. Irene x

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All I know is I am on my 3rd bottle. They are not big......so maybe less than 2 months!

My sinus's are not draining and choking me! Janet127

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Hiya my dear O2, Janet has nicked my thoughts on local honey.

I'm so lucky that pollen isn't a big issue. However, it's big for you so I'm guessing here....id do antihistamine if you're able to take it, I take just half a tablet at 6pm, not only does it knock me out its great for severe bites & stings (for myself anyway). Also I'd try a fine mist of water inside, outside a fine spray if your area will allow it. A humidifier turned up? Bowls of water around to dampen the atmosphere so the pollen can't float around so easily?

I really hope you get some respite soon, it must be really bad to affect your breathing so. Good luck xxxxx P

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Its the allergic asthma which is causing the problem P. I was taking Cetirizine daily - no drowsiness and it seemed to be helping until this last weekend. Now GP has put me on stronger one - Fexofenadine Hydrochloride - which doesnt seem to be doing much either. Still not drowsy though but on steroids for the virus so getting manic instead haha. Good to hear from you, my dear, and hope you're ok xxx :)

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I can't answer your questions, but I'm sorry to hear things are so difficult at the moment. Stay locked in, breathe slowly, and take good care of yourself. I am sure that this too shall pass. Xxx

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Thanks Frose - Im sure it will pass, it's got to! I coughed up 24 hours worth of stuff since original post and feel a bit better. Just such a bummer after semi miraculous speedy recovery from the pneumonia.

Hope you're doing ok love, thanks for reply

:) xxx

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Don't forget to dry your washing indoors and not in the fresh air cos of the pollen that can be trapped in the fibres. Fortunately the heat does not effect me but I am allergic to tree, flower, grass pollens followed up with haymaking stuff and moss and algae in the winter so my year is pretty well covered but I have found that since April I have been on oxygen 24/7 and have not been sneezing so much as I guess the pollen is not able to get to my nose, eyes are a mess and my throat is itchy and scratchy but even a small amount of relief is a blessing.

Happy sneezing everybody.

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Oh poor you bayleyray-uk. Im so sorry, you do sound in a bad way. Glad at least that the heat doesnt affect you. Good tip about the washing.

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After 64 years you would think I would be used to it but I usually get caught out as the pollens really get going, feel sorry for myself for a while and then just get on with it. My main bug bear at the moment is sneezing and not getting my cannula out of the way in time yuk.....

Sue

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Aaaagh! :D

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Ho O2, the same I also started with a virus at the weekendand the pollen is making me I'll. This weather is nice but I prefer it cooler. Take care. 😊 Bernadette xx,

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Trouble is I don't know which is causing the worst symptoms Bernadette. Hope your virus passes soon. I hate the weather!! You take care too, xx

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I am also allergic to grass. I was given desensitizing injections as a child, but reacted badly. Anyway, my Asthma is both allergic and bronchial. The Consultant at the Asthma Clinic suggested I increased the cetirizine I am on to 2 a day as 1 just was doing nothing for me. It works at that increased dose. A gentle fan wafting across your face might help with the breathlessness, it does help me. The best thing though that I have is a portable air conditioner, the sort with the hose that goes out the window. This can both reduce the temperature and reduce the humidity which is often far too high when the temperature is not, that together with pollen is a deadly combination. I have not tried or found a mask because my face gets itchy and hot very quickly (also have Eczema) and overheat easily.

Like others have mentioned, the grass pollen season is likely to last most if not all of July.

I have heard that putting a layer of petroleum jelly under the nose catches the pollen preventing it going down into your lungs.

If you get really hot, lie under a cotton sheet or shirt sprayed down with cold water. The natural evaporation will keep you cool. It was the only way I got any sleep the other year.

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Yes, my respiratory nurse recommended a small fan. I used to have one but it broke so great to have a reminder to get a new one. There are receptors in our noses which respond to them I was told. Also I have some kind of stuff to smear around the nostrils, probably flammable though so could be a problem. Good idea re the cold water spraying too.

Had those desensitising injections when I was young - not sure if they worked or not. Hope you get through it ok WA :)

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I've heard that vaseline up the nose helps, worth a try.

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Thanks chopsticks, quite a few people are saying that - I need to find something non-flammable though due to using oxygen right now.

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Hi Wheezyanne do you mind if I ask which portable air conditioner you have Regards Mary

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Hi O2 I am very lucky that I don't suffer from pollen and am only mild copd anyway. I do find humidity difficult and too hot sun though. I hope you find some answers. x

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Thanks Bev - take care in the sun :) xx

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Hey I’m suffering bad with my asthma right now to I was at Doctors this morning and she has changed my antihistamines but mentioned possibly trying montelukast if my situation doesn’t improve might be worth looking into??? X

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Hmmm, thanks but I have tried it, didn't really help. Hope you improve soon. I always loved your name btw :D

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Thanks my family are Canadian and I was the only one born in Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 but I’m the mad one. 🤪

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OMG! We stayed with friends in New Brunswick and I was desperate to see a moose on the freeways even though I was told how dangerous they are. Npw that's mad. "Attencion moose!" - I'll never forget the sign. :D

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I use beconase nasal spray, I start taking one squirt up each nostril from the start of April to build up immune system ready for the grass pollen in June and July. It is unusually high this year due to winter lasting so long apparently. Not yet found anything that helps the itchy eyes but the nasal spray is good and at least helps to not get so stuffy

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My eyes aren't that bad roey123 and nose isn't that stuffed up. It's the breathlessness from the lungs so I take stuff for that. Glad the beconase works for you.

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Have you tried Opticrom eye drops? They work for me when I remember to put them in. Though haven't needed them so far this year.

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Thanks Anne, but its more my lungs than anything else - been that way for a few years now. But interesting to see what works for different folk :)

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Sorry to hear you’re suffering from pollen as well as a virus 02Trees. For me it’s always the tree pollen earlier in the season but this year I saw a homeopath who gave me a desensitising remedy - this worked within a few days. Prior to that i turned my air purifier up and did the Vaseline thing that someone mentioned earlier. I have a vogmask but don’t think I could wear it in this heat, it can feel a bit claustrophobic. A friend told me recently that she washes her hair before she goes to bed which helps her.

Hope you find something that helps x

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Thanks so much. Im going to get the vogmask - at least I could then drive short distances then go indoors on arrival to wherever. Do you think it's too late to try a homeopathic desensitising remedy for the grass pollen, since it's already here?

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Yes that makes sense. Regarding the homeopathic remedy, I already had symptoms when I started taking mine. Good luck!

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Hello Jean,

Ask your GP for antihistamines and a nasal steroid spray, maybe oral steroids at this difficult time.

Take care x

Fran

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Thanks for your reply Fran. Im already on 30mg pred and strong antihistamines. Will probably have to wait it out :(

Hope you're doing ok, jean :) x

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Yes you have your lot..Im in the most allergenic city of France presently!! 😃Where Mum decided to move 15 years ago..so I can’t breathe either..xx

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Oh, so sorry Fran, horrid. :(

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Hi o2 I've just made a dash to close windows because next door are cutting their grass this hayfever is so underrated because it can be debilitating I end up having to go to bed because it usually starts of my chest,my total sympathy to to you and anyone that has this..regards Ger ps I fine wet wet cloths dabbed on eyes and lemsip help relieve symptoms

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Mine seems to be asthma, i.e. lungs, only except for slight itching eyes. I have an upper respiratory virus too and its hard to tell which is which. Sorry you're having a bad time too Ger, you take care.

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i believe the beginning of Aug is when pollen goes

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Thanks HB, I hope so but Im wondering if it will be later this year as the season started late - we'll see.

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I do feel for you J, awful for you. Hoping by now the new antihistamines are working. I've just checked the weather forecast for your town and not much change before August 10th! Perhaps it's worth splashing out on an air purifier?

I'm not bad, bronch slightly more troublesome, wheezy today, very fatigued from 10 day granny duty, too chubby, dog's pining but otherwise all good.

I'm so sorry you're suffering again, not fair. You've had more than your share this year 😗😙

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Yep, it's been a bad time, worse than for the last three years as Ive had a pretty good run. Probably the gods punishing my hubris, haha. Sorry to hear you are wheezy P. Is the pollen high in your town (my old town!)? It's so surrounded by hills I remember terrible hay fever, before i had asthma, especially during exam time. There was one girl who would hang her wet hankies on a little line and circulate them as they dried off. Crazy times huh. Look after yourself and don't exhaust yourself with grannie duty. August 10th? Lord love us :(

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P darling, can you tell me the link which gave you the 10th August pollen date? I can't find it and it sounds so accurate.

Funny thing: since i mentioned the girl at school who circulated her wet hankies, I found myself googling her (haven't thought of her for over 50 years). And she's had a stratospheric career as a historical biographer and major involvement with various literary organisations. AND turns out she lives in Canterbury down the road married to an ex professor from the university law school where I know lots of people. So of course they know a good few peeps who I also know including Yve, main owner of Dora the spanish water dog who used to work there. We were in the same class though never close. But she was always friendly. Small world huh? :) :) xxx

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Amazing about the hankie girl, yes, very small world - also amazing that you recalled her full name (at least nothing wrong there! 😜)

Doh, I'm so sorry to have mislead you re 10th August. I'd been checking your hot weather on BBC Weather site to see if you've any rain on its way. August was wrong for a start! Your weather forecast goes up to 10th July 😁 and unless there's a change I'm afraid it's hot hot hot.

Sending love from the west 😘

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Oh :( :( never mind, I felt it might be wrong. Thanks for trying, more important than accuracy is having friends who care :) xxxxx

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healthunlocked.com/api/redi... Hope I did the link right. You should find a Pollen Calendar here. If link does not work, put Pollen Calendar in the Search and you will find a message I sent a year ago which contains a working link. Hope it all works.

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Brilliant, thanks Wheezy :)

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Great, just been on the Worcester site, very useful so thank you :)

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Morning

Just to help I take 180 mg of foxocinadine an antihistamine from your doctor works great

Good luck stay cool 😎

Ps I take every day all the time Summer or winter

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Thanks Stephen - Im trying out this new (to me) stronger one called Fexofenadine Hydrochloride. In fact the names sound a bit similar, I'll check if they are different brands of the same one. :)

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Ive had to stop the Fexo as I had awful side effect yesterday (2nd day of taking it) - dizzy and and so nauseous. The leaflet says this is common, 1 in 10. Gone now thank goodness. Back to the OTC ones like Cetirizine.

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Sorry to here that I’ve been on them since 2013 they do work I hope you can find something that’s works for you

Take care

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Might see about doubling up on the Cetirizine as Ive never had trouble with that. Im sure the Fexo was working but the side effects are too high a price to pay for that. Glad it's ok for you though. :)

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If you use Groupon you can get a years supply of them very cheap check it out

Take care 🤓

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Thanks for this thread. I've been struggling a bit with the hot weather, but didn't realise the high grass pollen count may be affecting me too. Have just ordered some local honey online to see if that helps. What a good excuse for eating such a delicious product.

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Yum! :) :)

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I tried the local honey and it seemed to help. I take a loratadine tablet every day since mid May and as I haven't been out much I have not had hay fever too bad so far this year. All our Windows are open (5th floor flat). Hay fever usually ends in August but due to rape seeds and fungus (Sept/Oct) it can last much longer. Hope you feel better soon.

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Many thanks Jackieshep57. It's only the grass pollen that gets me, off the scale :( Glad you're not suffering too much.

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It might help that I live near the coast 😀

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I do too (Kent) but right at this minute I think it's the virus which is the worst - sitting here feeling like Im drowning as I try to get the stuff up after 5 hours sleep. Sorry, a low moment.

Also just wondered what Loratadine is - an antihistamine presumably?

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Yes it is an antihistamine. Guess it will take a long time to get over the virus. The heat they say is to ease a little by weekend. My daughter lives in Kent (near Dartford). We are in Bournemouth. I do hope each day will get a little better for you.

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Thank you Jackie.

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A good dust mask should publish its micron rating. In the US a "n95" will keep out 95% of 0.3 micron particles. Check the size of the allergen in microns and get a suitable mask. But...the smaller the rating the harder it is to breathe through. I worked in a dusty environment, and had a problem breathing through the n95's.

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Thanks, that's useful Schmicter. I do have a heavy weight industrial mask which I use to e.g. saw wood, when Im well. I don't think Id have a chance in hell of breathing through it at the moment. Once I was having a lot of trouble with it when well, then I realised I hadn't changed the filter in a long while, duh! :O

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I use shaped paper face masks with grade 3 small plastic filter, red elastic bands, brand 3M, bought on Amazon. Close fitting but I breathe comfortably. Use mainly on public transport and for dust when cleaning. May also try on high pollen days if Xyzal isn't enough.

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Thanks Robin, so much to try, wonderful. They certainly need to be close fitting.

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These seem to have a perfect seal but don't feel tight.

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My Jennie suffers badly with the high pollen count. She has tried every thing including astronaut treatment pills They don't last long unfortunately. Not tried the mask though.

Dan

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What are astronaut treatment pills Dan?

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Hi sorry for the delay. It is Fexofenadine hydrochloride 180 mgs it is got on doctors prescription. As I said in my wife's case they don't last very long. I forgot to mention that to use Vaseline around the inner nostrils captures the pollen and helps a bit.

Good luck

Dan

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Im going to order the mask, see if it helps. :)

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Sorry it’s my spelling there the ones there great you will see a difference they are very good

Stay cool

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Yes, I just checked and came to that conclusion, easy to do, these names are so complicated. I think it might be beginning to work, not sure yet. Take care :)

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Thanks so much, people! So many great suggestions and care and I hope it's been helpful for everyone - just shows how many are having a bad time right now. Go easy and keep cool best you can :)

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