Hay Fever – a survivor’s guide
It's the time of year to go outside and
enjoy summer but for many of us, 1 in 5, it means hay fever
Hay fever is a common allergic reaction
triggered by pollen, and results in symptoms such as sneezing, a
runny nose and itchy eyes. It usually begins in childhood, with
boys being more susceptible than girls at this age, but can happen
at any stage of life.
How to avoid hay fever and treatment
Unfortunately there is no cure for hay fever but there are
things that you can do to reduce the symptoms:
- Stay indoors and keep windows and doors shut.
- Avoid cut grass.
- Wear wrap-around sunglasses to stop pollen getting in your
- Take a shower and change your clothes when you get home can
also help by removing the pollen from your body.
- Vacuum regularly, ideally using a machine with a HEPA
(high-efficiency particle arresting) filter.
- Damp dust regularly. Dusting with a wet cloth will collect the
dust and stop any pollen from being spread around.
- Don't smoke or let other people smoke in your house. Smoke will
irritate the lining of your nose, eyes, throat and airways, and
could make your symptoms worse.
- Don’t dry your clothes outside. This will help prevent bringing
pollen into your home.
Hay fever treatment
Symptoms can be treated with over-the-counter medications, such
as antihistamines. If these fail to improve your symptoms, you can
visit your GP who may prescribe you with steroid medication called
Hay fever does not pose a serious threat to health, but there
are other severe allergic reactions which are far more dangerous.
For full details on severe allergic reactions and how to treat
them, visit our first aid advice