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Masks and Allergic Rhinitis

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Face masks and allergies 

What is allergic rhinitis? 

Allergic rhinitis (more commonly known as hay fever) is the medical term for inflammation of the nasal lining caused by an allergic trigger. It affects children and adults and can significantly affect quality of life, work and school performance and attendance, and is a risk factor for the development of asthma. 

 Allergic rhinitis is very common in the UK, and symptoms include: 

  • Itchy eyes/ throat 
  • Sneezing, blocked/runny nose 
  • Watering, red eyes (allergic conjunctivitis)
  • Headaches, blocked sinuses 
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Tiredness 
  • The sensation of mucus running down the back of the throat, which can also be a symptom, is called ‘post-nasal drip’. 

Can masks help with allergic rhinitis symptoms? 

Allergic rhinitis is triggered by airborne allergens including pollens and mould spores. Masks can help reduce allergy symptoms by providing a barrier to these allergens entering the nose. 

When are masks helpful? 

  • Allergic rhinitis can sometimes be triggered by mowing lawns, raking leaves, or turning over a compost heap and spreading its content, as mould spores can be spread. Indoor moulds can be found in places including damp basements and barns. Wearing a face mask can provide a barrier to your nose, decreasing your exposure to spores. 
  • Wearing a face mask during a high pollen count may help to combat the effects of pollen on your hay fever symptoms. They protect the wearer from pollen and pollution, and also protects others around you from COVID-19, as asymptomatic COVID-19 may be present in people with allergic rhinitis who are prone to sneezing. 
  • Where possible, walk or cycle to your destination wearing a mask to avoid exposure to pollen rather than travelling by car. 

The NAROO F-Series masks hold Allergy UK's Allergy Friendly Product Award Certificate. They are filtering masks for everyday use, amateur and professional athletic use in environments with pollen, dust, in hot or cold weather. They are easy-breathing and filter out environmental agents that cause breathing difficulties or trigger allergy.

For more information on face masks which have been awarded Allergy UK’s Seal of Approval, please click here

For more information on allergic rhinitis, please click here

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