Hay fever – the demon that strikes again!

hay fever
Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

Runny noses and itchy eyes are common symptoms for time of year, but how can you get about without hay fever ruining your day?

Reports have suggested that 68% of hay fever sufferers say they can’t enjoy being outdoors during the summer. Studies have shown that rhinitis severely affects people’s quality of life. It is said to disturb sleep, impair concentration and even causes people to miss work. But how do we keep these demons at bay?

According to area expert manager for respiratory brands at GSK, Kavita Datar, it’s all about being proactive.

Hay fever is caused when the body makes allergic antibodies to certain substances, such as pollen. As you never know how long the season is going to be, it is important to carrying around anti-rhinitis products. So you can act quickly when you start to feel the symptoms coming on. Know the time of day you are most affected by pollen and when your hay fever is most prevalent. Kavita says this doesn’t mean you have to stay indoors at those time. It is as simple as monitoring the daily pollen forecasts. And on days when the pollen count is high, shower after arriving home to avoid the pollen staying on your body.

An important thing to remember is that everybody is different. You won’t all use the same type of product or experience the same symptoms. But when it comes to children and hay fever, the fundamental thing is introducing preventative methods early. Making it all part of their daily routine. Research has shown that 71% of parents say their child is emotionally affected by allergies.

You don’t want a child to have a bad experience with an allergy where they are distressed by it and they don’t want to go outside and play anymore.

By introducing antihistamines into your child’s daily routine, you will help them get using it and into good habits.

Achoo! Tips to battle pollen

  1. Avoid drying washing on a clothes-line outside when pollen count is high.
  2. Nasal rinses with a normal saline solution are available to wash away allergens even for babies. Use them frequently and in conjunction with prescribed or over-the-counter medications.
  3. Start using nasal sprays a week or two before your symptoms usually appear for the best effect. Put petroleum jelly around your nostrils to trap pollen.
  4. Rhinitis is difficult to control when they are already established, so take treatments regularly. Only taking medications occasionally on the worst days is much less effective. You should aim to start using the preventative/treatment nasal sprays two weeks before your symptoms usually begin.

Kavita also suggests using little protectors such as carrying sunglasses to help prevent pollen irritating your eyes and that the most important thing to remember is that you are not alone in suffering with hay fever.