After the cold of winter, we’ve been looking forward to the longer summer evenings and warmer weather. However, it’s also that time of year many of us dread as we start to see those pollen count alerts and the onset of hay fever symptoms.
What is hay fever?
Hay fever is a common allergic reaction that occurs at particular times of the year. Known as seasonal rhinitis, it is a reaction to pollen from grass, trees and weeds during the spring and summer months. It can affect both adults and children.
Hay fever is usually experienced between late March and August, especially when it’s warm, humid and windy. This is when the pollen count is at its highest.
Grass pollen is the most common allergen (May to July), but tree (February to June) and weed (June to September) pollens can also cause the allergic reaction we know as hay fever. In perennial (year round) allergic rhinitis the symptoms continue all year round and usually relate to indoor allergens, such as house dust mites, pets or mould.
Common Hay fever symptoms include:
- Sneezing, blocked or runny nose
- Sinus congestion with headaches, especially along the forehead
- Itchy, red and watery eyes
- Puffy eyelids
- Itchy throat
- Shortness of breath
A range of treatments are available in your local Adrian Dunne Pharmacy to help reduce your hay fever symptoms including tablets, syrups, eye drops and nasal sprays. We recommend products including Cetrine, Zirtek, Telfast and Flixonase. Nuage’s Hay Fever wipes and barrier balm also help ease symptoms by wiping away pollen (wipes) and trap it from entering the nose (balm).
Call in and speak to our Pharmacist or one our trained healthcare advisors for advice on the most suitable treatment for your needs.
Remember to always read the label/packaging.
Some extra tips to help you reduce the symptoms of hay fever
- 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
- Keep house and car windows closed during peak pollen hours (late morning and evening)
- Close the bedroom window when sleeping at night
- Wear wrap-around sunglasses to reduce pollen grains affecting the eyes
- If you can, avoid being outdoors late morning and late afternoon – and also avoid walking on grass
- Wear a face mask if you have to cut the grass
- Avoid drying washing on a clothes-line outside when pollen counts are high
- Use a hay fever balm or a barrier product like Vaseline to help protect the lining of the nose. A smear around the rim of each nostril can help ease soreness and capture pollen entering your nose.
- Shower or wash your face and hands when coming in from being outside. Rinse your hair at night to wash out any pollen.
- If you’re on the go hay fever wipes can be very effective at wiping away pollen and allergens – you can bring them in the car, pop them in your handbag or kids school bags.
- Use of air-purifiers and high filtration vacuum cleaners can help remove pollen from the house
- Pop used tea bags in the fridge. They can make great soothing compresses to relieve swollen or puffy eyes!
- Keep an antihistamine handy for sudden allergy attacks
Changing up your skin care routine can help relieve symptoms
In addition to the common symptoms of sneezing, congestion, and a runny nose – itchy skin, puffiness and dark circles around the eyes are also frequent hallmarks of allergy sufferers.
Using the right skin care routine at this time of the year can be beneficial and offer symptom relief.
Ranges such as La Roche Posay Toleriane are designed to hydrate and sooth sensitive, reactive and allergic skin. The Toleriane range provides daily care to calm and protect even the most sensitive skin, for immediate and long-lasting relief that reduces sensitivity over time. Airtight packaging along with fragrance free, alcohol free formulations with minimal ingredients limit the risk of allergies.
Two customer favourites in the range are:
Toleriane Ultra Dermollergo Serum – an intensely hydrating and soothing serum that is clinically proven to reduce signs of sensitivity such as dryness, tightness and itchiness. It immediately hydrates the skin for up to 48 hours and restores the skin barrier to help protect against future reactions.
Toleriane Ultra Eye Cream is specifically formulated to relieve irritated eyes and proven to immediately alleviate skin discomfort as well as reduce skin sensitivity around the eyes. It soothes irritated skin around the eye contour that has been aggravated by hay fever, allergies or eczema. An instantly absorbing formula, the cream can be dabbed with a light pressure all over the eye socket and eye contour.