Managing hay fever


It's that time of year again when those suffering from hay fever are reaching for the tissues. Hay fever is a common condition, with more than 10 million people suffering in the UK. But what exactly is hay fever, and how can we manage it on a day to day basis?

What is hay fever?

Hay fever is a common allergic reaction known as seasonal rhinitis. It occurs due to a reaction to pollen from grass, trees and weeds during the early spring and summer months. Symptoms include:

  • Itchy eyes/throat
  • Sneezing, blocked/runny nose
  • Watering, red eyes
  • Headaches or blocked sinuses
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tiredness
  • The sensation of mucus running down the back of the throat, which can also be a symptom, is called 'post-nasal drip.'
How can I manage my hay fever?

There are ways to try and manage your symptoms and exposure to pollen. Here are some tips that you can try:

  • Monitor pollen forecasts daily and stay indoors wherever possible when the count is high. Counts should be lower on cooler, wet days.
  • On high pollen days, shower and wash your hair after arriving home and change your clothing.
  • Avoid drying washing outside when pollen counts are high.
  • Speak to your pharmacists or GP about using antihistamines if your symptoms are severe.
  • Apply an effective allergen barrier balm around the edge of each nostril to trap or block pollens.
  • Keep windows and doors of your home closed.
  • Wear sunglasses and a hat outside to help protect your eyes from pollen.
  • If you wear contact lenses, consider switching to glasses for better comfort, particularly when outside.
  • Use eyes drops to alleviate symptoms - speak to your optometrist for further advice.


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