General Health Monday April 13, 2015

How To Cope With Hayfever This Summer

According to a new study, hayfever is expected to affect up to 20 million people this summer, a third up from last year.

For the lucky few who enjoy the above average Mediterranean style weather free of watery eyes and sneezing, the unexpected heat this week has come as a welcoming surprise. However, for those whose sinuses merely tingle at the thought of fields and daffodils, this warmer weather is likely the beginning of utter misery. With common symptoms ranging from watery eyes, persistent sneezing and irritating itches in the back of the throat, the spring and summer months are tough. But is there a way that hayfever sufferers can defeat the enemy, commonly known as pollen?

What is hayfever?

Hayfever affects over one in four people in the UK. Symptoms are triggered when a person has an allergic reaction to pollen, something that appears in abundance once the flowers start to bloom. However, contrary to common misconceptions, your allergies are very rarely linked to the pollen from flowers - many suffer more from a particular type of pollen, whether that is tree, grass or weed and this can affect what symptoms you have too. The highly common allergic condition that can affect up to one in five individuals at any point, its symptoms are not too dissimilar from the common cold:

  • Persistent sneezing
  • Runny or blocked nose
  • Itchy throat
  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Coughing
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Earache

You could have some or all of these symptoms that target your sense of smell, sight and taste leaving you feeling like you're running on empty. There is some good news amidst all this gloom though. For starters, you could be in that 10-20% of sufferers that find their symptoms disappearing completely. Secondly, as you get older, your symptoms do tend to reduce in severity. If this never happens to you, and with no cure, here are some top tips for managing hayfever and advice on the treatment readily available out there…

Top tips to manage hayfever symptoms this summer:

  • Wash bed sheets in hot water frequently
  • Wash your hair frequently during high pollen days
  • Avoid mowing the garden yourself
  • Avoid drying clothes outside during high pollen days
  • Avoid frequent contact with pets – they carry pollen in their fur
  • Avoid being outside when the pollen count is at its highest – around 8-10am and 5-7pm
  • Vacuum regularly. Pollen can live in carpet
  • Shut the windows to prevent pollen from coming in
  • Start medication early. It is advised that you begin treatment at least two weeks before symptoms rise


As we mention, there is no cure for the condition - that doesn't mean you have to suffer. Avoiding pollen can help, but this is not always possible and you can't let it ruin your summer. There are many antihistamines that will reduce that uncomfortable feeling and inflammation, giving you the relief you crave. For severe symptoms, or you're finding your current medication isn't up to scratch, you can complete our free consultation. We will then send your details straight to one of our partner doctors for review, saving you the time and the effort of trying any over-the-counter medication that might not be strong enough.

Hayfever acts as a burden during a time when you should be enjoying the outdoors. Simple activities such as picnics become a regimented task of treatments and grass avoidance. You fear placing your washing on the line and certainly can't be opening your windows on a fine day. However, there are treatments that will be able to soothe those symptoms, allowing you to have the best summer possible. Don't give up! You will defeat it.

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