Top tips for managing your hay fever
The warmer weather can signal the start of allergic symptoms for people with hay fever. Pollen avoidance can be challenging due to the many different types of pollens from grasses, trees and weeds being released at different times of the year.
However, the good news is there are some simple measures that can help you to reduce your exposure to pollen and to manage symptoms.
Here are Allergy UK’s top tips:
- Start treatment early (using treatments up to two weeks before peak pollen times can help)
- Wear a hat and wraparound sunglasses to minimise pollen exposure to the eyes
- Try using a nasal allergen barrier balm that traps aero allergens when applied around the nostrils (not to be used inside the nostrils) – some people find this can help.
- Monitor pollen forecasts daily and stay indoors wherever possible when the count is high (generally on warmer, dry days). Rain washes pollen from the air so counts should be lower on cooler, wet days
- On high pollen days, shower and wash your hair after arriving home and change your clothing
- Avoid drying washing on a clothes-line outside when pollen counts are high
- Keep windows and doors closed to avoid the amount of pollen that enters your home or workplace
Antihistamines are usually the first line of treatment as they block histamine release, easing symptoms. A daily non-sedating antihistamine is advisable. A pharmacist will be able to offer advice on over the counter treatment options.
Antihistamines are available in a variety of forms including tablet, solutions, nasal sprays etc. For those with moderate to severe symptoms, a spray that combines antihistamine with a steroid can be prescribed by your GP.
Non-drug interventions can also be used such as douching (washing out) the nose with a saline type solutions available in pharmacy which washes away allergens.