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Top tips for keeping hay fever at bay this year

If you suffer from hay fever, you’re probably all too aware of how annoying it can be. Whether you get congested, have itchy or watery eyes, sneeze a lot, or get a runny nose, the symptoms often have a disruptive impact on your everyday life. Unfortunately there isn’t currently a cure for hay fever, but it is possible to alleviate your symptoms to the point where you can get on with your day free of stress.

Interested in finding out more? Read on for some top tips on how to keep hay fever at bay this season.

What causes hay fever?

Hay fever is a common allergic reaction to pollen, which is a fine powder that’s released by plants and dispersed by the wind. The most common types that people are allergic to are tree pollen, grass pollen and weed pollen. When these minuscule particles come into contact with your eyes, nose, mouth or throat, it can result in swelling, irritation and inflammation. You can suffer from hay fever at any age, although many people find that their symptoms become less severe as they get older.

How can I alleviate my hay fever symptoms?

One of the most effective ways to relieve symptoms of hay fever is with medication. You can get eye drops, nasal sprays such as Avamys spray, and antihistamine tablets, all of which will alleviate issues such as red, itchy and watery eyes; an itchy, stuffy or runny nose; and sneezing. Speak to a doctor or pharmacist about which medication is best for you, and be sure to always follow the instructions carefully.

In addition to medication, there are ways in which you can reduce your exposure to pollen as a tactic to lessen your symptoms. The most obvious is to check the pollen forecast and stay inside when the count is high; although of course this isn’t always possible depending on your lifestyle. If you do go out, it can be helpful to wear a face mask to stop pollen from getting in your nose and mouth, as well as wraparound sunglasses to prevent it from getting in your eyes. Putting a bit of petroleum jelly around your nostrils can also act as a barrier and trap pollen before you breathe it in.

When you get home, it’s advisable to shake off your jacket outside to get rid of any pollen stuck to it. Changing your clothes, having a shower and washing your hair can also help to remove any pollen that’s on you. Another helpful tip is to keep your doors and windows closed in order to prevent pollen from getting into your house. Similarly, it’s best to dry your clothes inside when doing the laundry – if you hang them outside on a clothes line, they can get pollen caught on them, which you’ll then be exposed to when you wear them.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that any form of air pollution can make your hay fever symptoms worse. As such, you shouldn’t smoke or be around other people who are smoking. Likewise, it can be helpful to avoid big cities and instead head to the coast and enjoy the cleansing sea breeze if you have that option!