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Allergies season: What you need to know about hay fever - and how to beat it
6:00am Friday 16th May 2014 in News
Allergies season is well under way and if you’re one of the many people who have been sneeezing, blowing your nose and rubbing your eyes thanks to hay fever this guide is for you.
What is hay fever?
Hay fever is an allergic reaction to pollen. Pollen comes from the stamens of flowering plants and is blown into the air by the wind. Obviously, plants tend to flower in spring and summer, so hay fever sufferers get hit with it in the spring and summer time.
Hay fever is an allergic reaction to one or more types of pollen. It’s not mutually exclusive, so someone might even be allergic to multiple types of pollen.
The three main offenders are tree pollen, grass pollen and weed pollen. Climate change has resulted in the pollen season lasting longer - trees and grasses are the most problematic pollens.
According to the Met Office, approximately 10 million people in the UK suffer from hay fever. This means that roughly one in five people in the UK are having their summers ruined by this allergy.
Hay fever advice
If you suffer from hay fever, there are several things you can do to alleviate your symptoms; most of these tips allow you to keep your exposure to pollen to an absolute minimum. Using one or all of these techniques should help you keep hay fever at bay: Antihistamine tablets can be especially effective at reducing the symptoms of hay fever.
- Dry your clothes indoors to avoid pollen sticking to them.
- Keep windows closed at night and while driving.
- Wear glasses and a hat to stop pollen settling in your hair.
- Avoid large fields with lots of grass.
- Pass off gardening responsibilities like mowing the lawn to someone else.
- Wash your hands, face and hair after you’ve been outdoors.
- Regularly check weather reports and avoid going outdoors when the pollen count is high.
- Don’t ignore the effects of hay fever—if you have asthma, seek the advice of your GP and they may increase the dosage of your medication.
- Rub a layer of petroleum jelly underneath your nose. This causes some of the pollen the stick to the jelly instead of floating up your nostrils and causing irritation.
- Pollen count is highest during the morning and at night. Avoid going outside at these times.
- Avoid drinking alcohol, as it contains histamine, which exacerbates hay fever.
Information from Medicines2U
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