Hay fever is a very common condition that affects over 10 million people in England. It is caused by an allergy to pollen and usually causes mild symptoms such asof itchy eyes, runny nose and sneezing.
How you can reduce symptoms
If you know that you have hay fever, ideally, it is recommended to start taking hay fever medications a few weeks before the pollen season starts – one to remember for next year! An online pollen calendar can be a great tool to help guide you
Pharmacists can give advice on the best treatment for your symptoms. There are lots of treatments available, including those that can be taken orally or put directly into the eyes or nose.
Regularly vacuuming and damp-dusting can also help keep the levels of pollen down in your home. Some vacuum cleaners come with a HEPA filter that can reduce the levels even more.
Vaseline around your nostrils can help trap pollen
Wear wrap-around sunglasses, which can help prevent the pollen getting to your eyes and irritating them.
When should I see a GP?
You should see your GP if your symptoms are severe, getting worse or not responding to the treatments advised by the pharmacist. Also, consult a health care professional if you are asthmatic and are noticing that your chest is tight and/or you have persistent cough.
The GP may prescribe other treatments. These may include steroid nasal spray.