Recognised by runny noses and itchy eyes, hay fever is just one allergy a whole handful of people suffer from throughout the summer months. Essentially, hay fever is an allergic reaction to pollen, typically when it comes into contact with your mouth, nose, eyes and throat. Usually worse between late March and September, the effects hay fever can be determined by a whole host of factors. Warm, humid and windy days are usually when the pollen count is at its highest but factors like where you live, work and your general susceptibility to hay fever can have different effects. Let’s take a look at how you can recognise the signs of hay fever and how to keep your sneezing and sniffles to a minimum.
Affecting around one in four people, the signs of hay fever are usually pretty easy to spot but can often be similar to that of the common cold. That being said, whilst colds only last for 1 to 2 weeks, hayfever can typically last for weeks or months, it’s always best to seek the advice of a health care professional if you are unsure. Typical symptoms usually include:
- sneezing and coughing
- a runny or blocked nose
- itchy, red or watery eyes
- itchy throat, mouth, nose and ears
- loss of smell
- pain around your temples and forehead
- feeling tired
If you also suffer from asthma you may also notice a tighter chest, shortness of breath and a wheeze or cough. If you feel that these symptoms may be unusual you should seek the advice of a medical professional.
Treating hay fever
At this moment, there is no cure for hay fever and there is no way to prevent it happening but there are several things that you can do to ease any symptoms you have when the pollen count is high.
There are a whole host of things that you can do in and around the house to lower the effects that pollen has on your hay fever. Rubbing vaseline around your nostrils to trap pollen, wearing wrap-around sunglasses and showering and changing your clothes after being outdoors are just a few simple ways you can stop pollen triggering your hay fever. Around the house, you can consider keeping windows and doors shut as much as possible, ensure you vacuum regularly using a HEPA filter, dust with a damp cloth when cleaning and invest in pollen filters for the air vents in your car.
It’s also important to try and stay away from grass especially when it’s freshly cut, avoid keeping fresh flowers and try not to smoke or be around smoke as it can make your hay fever symptoms worse than they already are.
Seeking the help of your pharmacist
Sometimes, taking a trip to your pharmacy may be helpful when dealing with the symptoms of hay fever. They can provide you with advice and suggest the best treatments for your symptoms such as antihistamine drops, tablets or nasal sprays which can help with common hay fever problems such as itchy and watery eyes or sneezing and a blocked nose.
Checking in with your GP
If you find that over the counter sprays and tablets still aren’t cutting it, it may be worth checking in with your GP. Depending on how severe your hay fever is, your GP may be able to prescribe you with steroids. If however, steroids also don’t seem to stop your symptoms, you could be referred for immunotherapy. With immunotherapy, you will be given small amounts of pollen as an injection or tablet to slowly build up your immunity. This kind of hay fever treatment usually starts in the winter around 3 months before the hay fever season begins.
At Protectus, we understand the importance of looking after your health all year round. That’s why we’re on hand to make sure you have access to the best treatment if you were to fall ill. From private health insurance to international health insurance, we can make sure that you, your business or your family are cared for and covered for the years to come. Contact us to see how health insurance can give you peace of mind about the future of your health.