Do you suffer from hay fever? You are not alone. Hayfever affects one in four people in the UK. For most of us, hay fever could be mild or severe. It can be uncomfortable and difficult with frequent sneezing, watery eyes, runny nose and itchy throat.
By learning to control your hay fever effectively, you can reduce the risk of you developing asthma
Hay fever is caused mainly by grass and tree pollen. When pollen come into contact with cells in your mouth, eyes or nose, they irritate the lining, causing an allergic reaction
So how can you prevent it? Here are a few tips to help you beat hay fever this season
Stay indoors at these times
There are certain times of the day when pollen count is high, stay indoors at these times. Usually when the air is warming up between 8-10am and when it’s cooling down between 5-7pm. You can also check from weather forecasts what the pollen count of the day will be to help you prepare in advance
Close your windows
Leave your windows open at night when pollen count is low but close them in the morning when you wake up. Wind up car windows when driving
Wash your hair, clothes & beddings
Pollen can normally stick to your hair or clothes especially if you’ve been walking. Wash your hair and clothes when you return home to get rid of any sticky pollen. Do the same if you have kids, as most kids love playing out doors especially at nursery.
Get someone else to mow your lawn
If you suffer from hay fever, then avoid mowing your lawn or gardening especially at high pollen times. Get someone else to help you
Vacuum vacuum vacumm
Vacuum regularly especially carpets as pollen can be trapped in them. Also dust with a damp cloth or microfibre cloth to get rid of pollen on surfaces.
Smear your nose
use some petroleum jelly such as vaseline or any other nasal balms to smear the linings of your nose. This will prevent pollen sticking to the linings
If all the above lifestyle measures don’t help, then go to your nearest pharmacy for some medication.
There are several hay fever medications sold at pharmacies. The main treatments areanti-histamines. There are both drowsy and non-drowsy options. Avoid drowsy options if you drive or operate any machinery. Also check with your pharmacists if you are taking any other medication
Antihistamines are very effective for most symptoms of hay fever, but not as effective for nasal symptoms. Steroid nasal sprays are more effective for nasal symptoms such as runny or blocked nose as they reduce inflammation of the airways.
Timing is also very important. Make sure you take antihistamines early enough as soon as symptoms start or before. Nasal sprays need to be taken at least two weeks before symptoms begin so that the medication is in your system already. For example, grass pollen is usually high between May and August, so you can start taking a steroid nasal spray in April.
I hope this information helps you in preventing hayfever this season. Remember to always consult your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or worsen
Manager & Superintendent pharmacist (Priory Fields Pharmacy)