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News Flash

It’s Hay Fever Season





18 million people in the UK suffer from hay fever[1], a number that is growing year on year. When in season, hay fever can affect people’s lives considerably. Those with hay fever symptoms can often find it difficult to complete everyday tasks such as driving to work, completing a test, or even getting a decent night’s sleep. A study conducted by Allergy UK found that 89% of hay fever sufferers’ daily routines were affected by symptoms of hay fever[2].


The medical term for hay fever is ‘allergic rhinitis’. There are two types of allergic rhinitis, seasonal (occurs at certain times of the year) and perennial (all year round). The term ‘rhinitis’ relates to the symptoms of an inflamed or runny nose, sneezing and congestion, and itchy, watery or red eyes.

Grass pollen is the most common allergen that those with hay fever suffer from. 95% of hay fever sufferers are allergic to grass pollen, which is most prominent between May and July. Some tree pollens can start as early as February and fade away by June, and weed pollens come into effect between June and September.

It’s difficult to specify how many people are allergic to tree and weed pollens definitively, as many people with hay fever have never been clinically diagnosed and self-medicate, so they won’t know what particular allergen is causing the problem.

Allergy UK’s Helpline Advisors give out advice and support for people living with hay fever, with symptoms ranging from mild to severe. In 2016 alone, 759 people contacted them to talk about hay fever. For those with severe symptoms, our Advisors will always recommend you visit your GP – but there are plenty of methods they will recommend for self-treatment and management.

Top Tips for Managing Your Hay Fever

Avoidance
Check weather and pollen forecasts so you can prepare for high pollen counts. Remember that the pollen count is highest first thing in the morning and late afternoon/early evening, so avoid sitting outside in these times. Make sure that you do not have clothes drying outside during this time as pollen will cling to the laundry.

Nasal sprays
Nasal sprays that contain decongestants may be useful on the worst days or for additional relief of congestion for an exam or special occasion but should not be used regularly as after a few days use, they can make symptoms worse. You can also buy a saline nasal wash, which can help remove pollens and allergens.

Barrier balms
Apply an effective allergen barrier balm around the edge of each nostril to trap or block pollens.  Pollen barriers are available as balms or gel nasal sprays. These balms can also be used on the face, around the bones of the eyes where a pair of glasses would touch your face, but not directly in contact with the eyes.

Please take two minutes to complete our short survey – we want to know how your hay fever symptoms affect you, particularly your concentration levels whilst trying to undertake daily tasks. Upon completion of this survey, you will be entered into a prize draw to win one of ten HayMax Organic Drug-Free Pollen Barrier balm triple packs, containing 3 pots of your choice.

HayMax

Complete the survey here

If you have concerns surrounding your hay fever, please do not hesitate to call the Allergy UK helpline on 01322 619 898 or use the webchat feature on our website: www.allergyuk.org


[1] Allergy UK | Misuse of Hay Fever Medication Causes Misery for Millions | Allergy Awareness Week Press Release 2014 | 28th April 2014

[2] Allergy UK | ‘Are you suffering from seasonal allergic rhinitis (hay fever)?’ | July 2014 | Supported and funded by HayMax™

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