Official figures this summer show that the number of people going to their GP with hay fever symptoms has risen by almost 50%, and this is certainly my experience this year. Up to 13 million people are thought to suffer from hay fever in the UK. Symptoms can appear from early spring (tree pollen) all the way to early autumn (weed pollen), dependent on the type of pollen that affects you.
New research this year shows that, aside from sneezing and sniffling, allergies like hay fever can also leave sufferers with 'Allergy Face' - aka unwanted visible symptoms like watery eyes, red nose (from tissue overuse) and a puffy face. This means that hay fever not only influences how we feel but how we look, which can impact on our confidence and social lives.
The good news is that there are many ways of reducing hay fever symptoms. These include:
Keeping doors and windows closed
Windows and doors can help to keep the pollen outside of your home and car. This is important in the mornings and evenings when pollen levels can peak. If you are still suffering indoors dust with a damp cloth and vacuum with a HEPA (high-efficiency particle arresting) filter regularly.
Dressing for the weather
Wearing wrap-around sunglasses when outside and large-brimmed hats can help keep pollen out of your eyes and off your face.
Washing when you get home
Pollen can stick to your skin and hair. On high pollen days, showering and washing your hair after being outside and changing your clothes can help to reduce symptoms.
Keeping track of daily pollen levels
The Met Office website has daily updates on the pollen count across the UK. Most pollen is released in the early morning and falls to ground level in the evenings when the air cools.
Speaking to your GP or pharmacist about treatment options
There are a range of treatments available for hay fever. Taking antihistamine tablets can help to reduce symptoms, and nasal sprays may also offer relief. Not all treatments have the same active ingredient - check with your pharmacist before purchasing, and always read the label.
Combatting 'Allergy Face'
If the visible symptoms of hay fever such as watery eyes, puffy face and red nose are bothering you, why not follow Jo Freeman's make-up tutorial to help you combat 'Allergy Face'.
BENADRYL® Allergy relief contains acrivastine. Always read the label.
Dr. Roger Henderson does not endorse specific products. This is part of a paid for advertorial with Benadryl® Allergy.