Hay Fever Simple Changes to help reduce symptoms and explanation of the impact of a chronic sneeze on your pelvic floor.
Hay fever and the Pelvic floor
So we know pregnancy, childbirth and the menopause can all effect the pelvic floor. But are you aware that chronic coughs and conditions like hay fever can all play havoc on the pelvic floor?
Hay fever? Yes – every time you sneeze there is a whole of pressure on your pelvic floor and if you hay fever is anything like mine it’s not one sneeze but a zillion! So at the moment I am vey pleased I have a strong and functional pelvic floor.
What does this mean for your pelvic floor?
Let’s keep it simple – your core is made up of the diaphragm, abdominal wall, pelvic floor muscles and lumbar/thoracic back muscles. When you exhale your diaphragm lifts creating tension through the abdominal wall and pelvic floor.
When you sneeze, there is a build of pressure which forces water, mucus and air from your nose with an incredible force. When you sneeze this puts pressure on your bladder and pelvic floor and this can cause you to leak a bit of wee and overtime it can weaken the pelvic floor.
Good news if you do leak a bit of wee when you sneeze, its not a forever thing, the situation can be improved with the right exercises (more on this later on 😊). Please don’t think you have to feel rotten with the hay fever and you need to wear pads for life.
So back to me and my hay fever - I have had hay fever for about 25 years – which is a bit nuts, but I got dignosied when I was about 14.
I’m quite a holistic person and don’t really like taking medicines unnecessary and I seem to be okay managing it without regular antihistamines. I don’t get mild hay fever – I’m a nose streaming, rub my eyes red raw kinda girl!
But over the years I found a few things that have helped:
- Lloyds chemist infra-red light – this definitely helps manage symptoms. I use it a couple of times a day. Initially when I first tried it and my symptoms reduced, I decided that it couldn’t be the light, but the pollen had gone. I stopped using it and within a day my symptoms came back. The science behind it is the infra-red light stops the cells making histamine which causes the allergic reaction.
- Neti pod – this one I have started this summer and it really helps. It is a little watering can and you wash your nostrils out with saline solution. I tried it on my 7-year-old yesterday, and it made a big difference. Now if I go out then get sneezy, I give my nostrils a wash 😊.
- Washing hair – I think I only realised this last year, but this makes a big difference. If you have been out and your hair is covered in pollen wash it out. Simple!
- Diet – anti-inflammatory foods help to reduce symptoms. I have to admit my husband thought I was a proper wally when I came up with this one, mainly as I have a degree in Applied Human Nutrition. Its only taken me a decade or so to apply it! Duh! Foods to include are anti-inflammatory foods such as your good fats, oily fish and foods rich in quercin (apples and onions and it is available as a supplement) Try to avoid foods high in histamine such as strawberries and tomatoes.
- Vaseline by the nostrils – stops the pollen going in. You can also wear sunglasses and a face mask which again stops pollen going up the nose (and you won’t look too odd wearing one given the current situation.)
- Time of day you go out – morning and evenings are worse for pollen as it is coming down. There is less at midday so technically a safer time to be out.
- Don’t dry your clothes outside – they get covered in pollen = sneezes! Or put your washing out around the middle of the day.
- Local honey – now I haven’t tried this one yet (mainly due to laziness in finding local honey) but I have seen many people post about it being helpful so I thought I would add it to the list.
Finally, I do have eye drops as a back-up as some days I do need them and there are antihistamine tablets in the cupboard again (just in case) but I try my best to avoid them and I’m doing okay so far.
Hopefully some of the above can help or a chat with GP/chemist.
So, if you are sneezing and leaking – try and get the sneezes in check but in the mean time it is important to strengthen the pelvic floor to do the job it needs to and prevent any leaking.
The Holistic Core Restore ® Everywoman course is based on science and gets results to stop that leaking when you sneeze. You definitely don’t need to be sneezy and peezy. IF you want to read more please click here.