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Hayfever

The spring and summer is a miserable time for hayfever sufferers. It is becoming more and more common amongst us, with predictions that as many as 50% of the population of the UK could suffer from hayfever by the year 2060.

Hayfever is present amongst us from between the months of May to September, but particularly bad in the months of May and June. It is therefore advisable for hayfever sufferers to protect themselves in these months of the year particularly.

There are many products on the market designed to help combat the symptoms of hayfever, including antihistamine tablets, nasal sprays and even steroid sprays. The use of these medicines are advised by medical professionals, I personally like to use a non-drowsy, one a day antihistamine tablet.

There are however other things that hayfever sufferers can do, other than take medication, in order to try and control the effects of hayfever.

EYES – Firstly eyedrops are very effective for protecting the eyes from itching and swelling. When the eyes are itchy, we tend to rub them which dries the eyes up. When eyes are irritated, they need to be lubricated, so the use of eyedrops is recommended. As well as lubricating the eyes, they have a soothing effect which can reduce the itchiness and the need to constantly rub them. The irritation is caused by pollen particles and other allergens getting into the eyes, which causes an allergic reaction. Try also wearing sunglasses when going outside, this will reduce the amount of allergens that get into your eyes. On days when the pollen count is particularly high, try placing a flannel soaked in cold water over the eyes whilst lying down for ten minutes. This is very cooling and soothing and can stop the irritation for a time.

THROAT – As well as itchy eyes, some hayfever sufferers complain of getting an itchy throat. When this occurs, the use of an antiseptic throat spray can be very effective. Also try sucking on a lozenge – this keeps the saliva flowing which is the body’s own natural antiseptic, which can reduce the irritation.

NOSE – Probably the most common symptoms for hayfever are sneezing and a runny nose. One tip to stop this from occuring is to rub a little vaseline around the edge of the nostrils. This will trap any pollen particles you breathe in on the sticky vaseline, before they reach the back of the nose where the allergy occurs. Another option also it to try wearing a face mask. This may seem a little extreme and restrictive, but I have tried this indoors when my hayfever has been particularly bad. Also, it may be advisable to try not to venture outdoors for too long when the pollen count is very high.

As well as this, another tip is to keep windows closed during key points during the day – these are mid morning and late afternoon/ early evening. Wlhen the tempratures are particularly high, try using a fan instead of opening the window to keep cool. There are also pollen filters available for car fans.

Why not try eating locally produced honey? Some believe this helps build up an immunity to hayfever. By consuming a little of the allergen, some believe that this can help increase our tolerance of it.

Finally if all else fails, why not consider taking a trip to the coast? The symptoms of hayfever are likely to lessen the closer you are to the sea, so use your hayfever as an excuse and to take a trip to the beach!