Hay fever facts
Hay fever, also called seasonal allergic rhinitis, affects one in five people in the UK and is mainly caused by grass pollen.
Based on John Collard, clinical director associated with Allergy UK, hay fever is a type of allergy. It happens when your entire body makes antibodies in response to particular triggers, such as pollen.
It’s most common in children and, particularly, teenagers, but you can develop hay fever at any age.
The symptoms usually include sneezing, itchy and watery eyes, and stuffy nasal area.
Read more about the symptoms of hay fever.
What causes hay fever?
In Britain, hay fever is mainly caused by grass pollen. Around 95 percent of hay fever sufferers are usually allergic to grass pollen.
Tree pollen can cause hay fever too. Around a quarter associated with hay fever sufferers are sensitive to tree pollen.
Mould spores and weed pollen can also trigger symptoms.
Check this Met Office pollen calendar to see if you’re allergic to woods, grass or weed pollen.
The pollens that result in hay fever vary from person to person plus region to region. The amount of pollen in the air will affect how bad your hay fever is.
There’s more likely to be more pollen in the air on hot, dry, windy days than on awesome, damp, rainy days. Research implies that pollution, such as cigarette smoke or car exhaust fumes, also makes some allergies worse.
Read more about the causes of hay fever.
When is hay fever worst?
Time of year at which you begin to experience hay fever symptoms depends upon what types of pollen you’re allergic to.
Trees release their particular pollen in March to early May while grasses release pollen from past due May to early August. Weeds plus certain shrubs release their pollen in late summer.
The hay fever season can therefore last from March to Oct. And if you’re unlucky enough to be allergic to more than one type associated with pollen, you may only have just 2 or 3 months without symptoms in the winter before the cycle starts again.
Find out how the elements affects hay fever symptoms.
How to reduce the risk of obtaining hay fever?
If you live in Britain, you’ve got around a one in five chance of developing hay fever. If your parents are allergic to something, you’re more likely to develop an allergic reaction too (it doesn’t have to be the same allergic reaction as your parents).
If you smoke while you’re pregnant and around your child, your child could be more likely to create an allergy. Not smoking and eating a healthy diet can limit the chances of passing on the tendency to your children.
Tips to relieve hay fever
Avoiding exposure to pollen is the best way to reduce the allergic symptoms of hay fever:
- Keep windows shut at night and first thing in the morning
- Stay indoors when the pollen count will be high (between 50 and 150)
- Wear wraparound sunglasses.
- Put some petroleum jelly just inside your nostrils to trap some of the pollen.
- Don’t mow the grass or sit in fields or large areas of grass.
- Wash your hands and face regularly.
- Avoid exposure to other things that trigger allergies, such as pet fur, or environmental issues, such as insect sprays or tobacco smoke.
More tips to prevent hay fever.
Check the Met Workplace pollen forecast to find out your possibility of hay fever symptoms over the next five days.
Existe fever treatment
Just like most allergies, the best way to control hay fever is to avoid the triggers. Nevertheless , it’s difficult to avoid pollen, particularly during the summer.
Even straightforward hay fever can be debilitating, leading to runny eyes, sleepless nights, bunged-up nose and headaches.
A range of over-the-counter items can treat the symptoms of hay fever, including tablets, nasal defense tools, eye drops and creams.
Antihistamines are the usual treatment for the main symptoms, such as itchy, watery eyes and runny nose, while steroid nasal defense tools are the main treatment for a rigid nose.
Hayfever in pregnancy
Hay fever during pregnancy can be a particular problem. Hormonal changes make nasal congestion more prevalent during pregnancy, and this often gets even worse during hay fever season. Pregnant women are also advised not to take some hay fever medicines.
Read more about taking hay fever medicines during pregnancy.
Hayfever plus asthma
Speak to your DOCTOR or pharmacist before you decide on a hay fever treatment. It’s particularly important to speak to your GP if you have asthma. Hay fever often makes asthma symptoms even worse. If this happens, you may need to increase the dose of your asthma medication.
Read more about treatments for hay fever.