Hay fever affects around one in four people in the UK with the main triggers being grass and pollen.
As the pollen count climbs, hay fever can make everyday life miserable and tiring, with sneezing, watery eyes, runny nose and an itchy throat among the list of symptoms.
There are lots of medicines and remedies available from local pharmacies to make life more comfortable and stop the negative effects of pollen overload.
Try these top tips to help ease symptoms:
- Don’t mow your lawn when the pollen count is high
- Create a barrier by smearing balm on your nostrils or using a nasal spray from your pharmacist.
- Avoid outside activity when the air is warming up and cooling down, as pollen count is highest.
- Open bedroom windows at night, but close them in the morning.
- Dust with a damp or microfibre cloth and vacuum regularly to stop pollen from becoming airborne.
- Wash your hair – pollen can stick to your hair and then transfer to your pillow.
For further advice, NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and can also advise where to go if symptoms of stings or allergies become a cause for concern. For more information visit www.nhs.uk
A few facts about Hayfever
- It is estimated that there are more than 10 million people with hay fever in England.
- There are around 30 types of pollen that could cause hay fever.
- 90% of people in Britain with hay fever are allergic to grass pollen.
- Around 25% of people in Britain with hay fever are allergic to pollen from trees, including oak, ash, cedar and birch.
- People with an allergy to birch often also experience an allergic reaction to apples, peaches, plums and cherries, as these types of fruit contain a similar protein to birch pollen.
- It is possible to be allergic to more than one type of pollen.
- In the UK, the pollen count season usually starts late March through to September. However, it can sometimes begin as early as January, or end in November.
- Pollen count seasons:
- tree pollen – late March to mid-May
- grass pollen – mid-May to July
- weed pollen – end of June to September
- Studies have shown that hay fever can severely affect a person’s quality of life, leading to time off work and school, and affecting children’s school exam results.
- People who suffer rhinitis are at increased risk of developing asthma.