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Those suffering from hay fever has increased in comparison to this time last year. Hay fever is one of the most common allergic conditions in Ireland and it is estimated that over 25% of the population are affected.
Hay fever symptoms include sneezing, a runny nose and itchy eyes. Sometimes the sinuses and throat can also be affected. Hay fever is caused by an allergy to pollens. Grass pollen is the most common cause, and tends to be a problem from May to July. Tree pollen tends to be an issue from March to May, and weed pollens from early spring to early autumn. It is impossible to avoid pollen totally. However, symptoms tend to be less severe if you reduce your exposure to pollen. Our team of doctors have 10 tips to help protect you from hay fever this summer.
How to beat hay fever this summer
1. The Asthma society of Ireland has a great pollen tracker that you can use to check the pollen count.
2. On days when the pollen count is high stay indoors as much as possible and keep windows and doors closed.
3. Stay away from grassy areas, especially freshly cut areas.
4. Apply Vaseline to the nostrils to help trap pollen particles.
5. Wear a hat with a wide brim and wraparound sunglasses to stop pollen getting into your hair and eyes.
6. Shower, wash your hair and change your clothes if you have been outside for an extended period, especially if you have been in the countryside.
7. Keep car windows closed, and consider buying a pollen filter for the air vents in your car. These should be changed at every service.
8. Minimise your contact with pets that have been outdoors as they are likely to be carrying pollen.
9. Consider a purifier with a built-in air quality sensor, to remove allergens and pollutants from the air.
10. If you still have symptoms of hay fever, you can take an antihistamine to alleviate the symptoms. There are many over the counter anti-histamines available at the pharmacy including antihistamine nasal sprays, antihistamine tablets, steroid nasal sprays and eye drops.
While hay fever can be uncomfortable, it is temporary, and there should be no long-term effects. With a combination of preventative measures and the right treatment you can avoid suffering this summer!