Sarah's Health Notes: Hay Fever
For some unlucky souls, hay fever starts early and a few are suffering already, according to reports. Most of us tend to get symptoms later, from the end of March or the beginning of April, but this year everything’s early in the natural world so chances are that pollen will be flying around pretty soon. With Covid-19 still with us, mostly as the highly transmissible omicron variant, there can be confusion in distinguishing the underlying cause of respiratory symptoms.
So just to be belt and braces, the main symptoms of hay fever are the following:
• Runny/stuffy nose
• Itchy/watery eyes
• Itchy/sore throat
Sometimes sufferers (like me) experience:
• Blocked ears
NB people with asthma may get short of breath with hay fever
If your symptoms match those of hay fever, which affects about one in five people in the UK, there are simple strategies that can help:
• Apply Haymax (or Vaseline) to the inside of your nose to trap pollen before you breathe it in.
• Dose yourself with Aller-DMG, formulated to help hayfever symptoms including itchy, watery eyes and a runny nose. Pharmacist Shabir Daya has been recommending this for years and it really works, in our experience.
• If your eyes get sore and irritated, try A Vogel Eye Drops, with the herb eyebright to refresh and moisturise them, suggests Shabir Daya. These eye drops are suitable for contact lens wearers who can have particular problems with pollen and dust getting stuck behind the lens.
• For stuffy noses, try Sinol-D All-Natural Nasal Spray Decongestant; unlike some products, this is non-habit forming and has been clinically proven to be effective.
• In the garden or car, channel Jackie O and don your biggest wrap-around sunglasses. You may snuffle but at least you’ll look glam!
• When you come back indoors, do have a shower to rinse off pollen on hair or skin. Put clothes in the wash; don't dry clothes outdoors where they may attract any pollen floating around.
• Check the Met Office Pollen forecast daily here; there’s also an App for your phone.
• Plan to go outside around midday when the pollen count tends to be lower.