General Health Thursday May 7, 2015

Are You In Hay Fever Denial?

In your thirties and suddenly bogged down by the symptoms of hay fever? Convinced that it can't be hay fever because you've never been diagnosed with it?

Well, unfortunately, it might be. Although you might have enjoyed the first 30 years of your life without worrying about pollen and grass, that doesn't mean that you shouldn't start now – you could actually have hay fever. And pretending you don't is not going to help.

"Although the condition is generally assumed to begin in childhood, some adults will be getting a nasty shock as they experience unpleasant symptoms such as sneezing and itching for the first time." - BBC

We can understand being in denial about hay fever – it can be a nightmare. But that doesn't mean that you should try to ignore it. Realistically speaking, hay fever is not going to change your life. It's very common, and it doesn't have to ruin your days in the sun. Regular, effective treatments are available and, in most cases, they can leave you free to enjoy the season without suffering from irritating symptoms. The fact that hay fever is becoming more common among adults, many of whom are experiencing it for the first time, is not therefore something to worry too much about.

According to Medical News Today, "Hay fever occurs when the immune system mistakes a harmless airborne substance as a threat." This means that hay fever can develop later in life for any number of reasons, and there might not be anything you can do about it. Indeed, research has led to a whole host of theories, some point to decreasing levels of exposure while others point in the opposite direction. Either way, the cause isn't clear yet.

Couldn't I just avoid my hay fever triggers?

You could try… if you want to stay indoors all summer! As hay fever is most prevalent in summer months, avoiding pollen is only going to lead to you missing out on the weather, so why not take a look at our quick list of handy tips for limiting your symptoms?

- Splash your eyes with cool water - it soothes them and clears the pollen

- Do your gardening on low pollen count days

- When pollen levels are high, shut windows and doors

- Shower and change your clothes when coming in on high pollen days

- Keep your surfaces, floors and carpets as free from dust as you can

Although this list won't provide you with perfect protection, it can help out. As with most things, every little helps. So if you are suddenly feeling that the grass is against you, do something about it! It's only beaten you if you stop enjoying the good weather!

If you are worried that you are exhibiting hay fever symptoms, even if you're in denial, then the best thing to do is to visit your doctor. Whether it's a cold or hay fever, you're always better off being safe than sorry and diagnosis is the first step in long-term, effective management of the condition.

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