image

Top tips for hay fever sufferers

Spring, although longed for by many, is a mixed blessing for others. As hand in hand with the change of season comes pollen.

Pollen is the male fertilising agent of flowering trees, plants, grasses and weeds and is usually in the form of a very fine powder. Many people have an adverse immune reaction when they breathe in pollen, this is what is commonly known as hay fever.

Pollen contains proteins that can cause the eyes, throat and sinuses to become irritated and inflamed, so common hay fever symptoms are a runny, itchy and/or blocked nose, sneezing and itchy eyes

Who does hay fever affect?

Hay fever is an allergy to pollen that affects around 1 in 5 people and as such is one of the most common allergies in the UK.

Usually beginning in childhood, hay fever can affect all ages. You are more likely to suffer from hay fever if you have a family history of allergies, especially asthma or eczema. More boys tend to be affected than girls but it seems to equal out with age.

Hay fever symptoms completely disappear for 10 to 20% of sufferers as they get older.

When is the UK hay fever season?

Hay fever is usually worse between late March and September, especially when it’s warm, humid and windy. This is when the pollen count is at its highest and is when the majority of people will suffer.

However, severe sufferers may struggle all year round. This is known as perennial rhinitis.

Every person is different and will react to different types of pollen so when you suffer depends on the type of pollen you are allergic to.

When is specific pollen released?

Late March to mid-May – tree pollen is released

Mid-May to July – grass pollen and flower pollen is high

Late June to September – weed pollen is at its most potent

What are hay fever symptoms?

Hay fever symptoms include:

  • Red eyes that may be watery and/or itchy
  • Runny nose
  • An itchy nose, roof of mouth or throat
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • The feeling of mucus constantly running down the back of the throat
  • tiredness

Top tip for sufferers

There is no cure for hay fever but there are some precautions that you can take to avoid exposure to pollen and some treatments that may help to alleviate symptoms:

  • Wash it off – a shower and a change of clothes after being outside will help to remove pollen from your body and hair
  • Wrap-around sunglasses – these are useful to stop pollen from getting into your eyes
  • Keep an eye on the pollen count – weather forecasts these days include pollen counts, so if they are especially high then take care to spend more time indoors and keep your windows and doors shut
  • Stay away from animals – especially on days with a high pollen count. Our pets can carry pollen on their fur so wash them regularly, especially before they come in the house
  • Keep the washing indoors – pollen collects on clothes so avoid drying your washing outside when there a high pollen count is forecast
  • Create a barrier – protect your nostrils and trap pollen grains by applying a small amount of petroleum gel (Vaseline)
  • Gardening – avoid spending time in the garden when the pollen count is high and stay away from wind-pollinated plants such as sunflowers, dahlias and ragweed
  • Stay by the coast – sea air blows pollen in-land so pollen counts are generally lower by the sea
  • Over the counter antihistamines will help to prevent an allergic reaction and steroid nasal sprays can reduce inflammation and swelling.

If symptoms are extreme or persistent then a visit to your GP is recommended as they can discuss further options.

Immunotherapy may be recommended as an option; this requires exposure to small amounts of pollen over a period of 3 years to build resistance, but in most cases, hay fever can be controlled by making behavioural changes and by taking over the counter medication.

Disclaimer
All content on Silversurfers.com is provided for general information only, and should not be treated at all as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. Silversurfers will not be responsible or liable for any diagnosis made by a user based on the content on www.silversurfers.com and we are also not liable for the content of any external websites or links from or to Silversurfers to any other websites. Please always consult your own doctor if you’re in any way concerned about any aspect of your health.
The following two tabs change content below.

AXA Health

The more you know about your body and how you can look after it, the healthier you are – and the stronger and bolder you become. That’s why we never stop looking for ways to support your health. We want to give you the tools and knowledge you need to take care of yourself – so you’re ready to face whatever the world brings.

Leave a Comment!

Not a member?

You need to be a member to interact with Silversurfers. Joining is free and simple to do. Click the button below to join today!

Click here if you have forgotten your password

Community Terms & Conditions

Content standards

These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.

You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.

Contributions must:

be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.

Contributions must not:

contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.

Nurturing a safe environment

Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.

We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!