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Suffer from hayfever?
If you suffer from hay fever like I do then you may be asking yourself "what can I do to keep it under control?!" the endless sneezing, runny nose and irritating itchy eyes. Well Health Matters have some tips for you.

What is hayfever?
Hayfever (seasonal allergic rhinitis) is an allergic reaction to pollen and spores. The symptoms include sneezing, runny eyes and nose, itching nose and sometimes headache and tiredness.
Know your enemy!
If you have symptoms in March, April and May it is probably tree pollen, especially Birch, Ash and Oak. Once you have worked out which pollen types you are allergic to it is easier to avoid the problem. For example, avoid high pollen locations such as areas with un-mown grasses in flower, countryside areas with un-mown verges etc. Avoid woodland locations in the tree pollen seasons.

Which pollen types cause hayfever?
Grass pollen is the most frequent cause of hayfever but other types are also important including pollen from trees such as Alder, Hazel, Birch and Horse Chestnut, and from weeds including Plantains, Mugwort and Docks. A person suffering from hay fever may be allergic to one, several or many
types of pollen.

Is hay fever hereditary?
All sorts of allergies tend to run in families. Children of parents with allergies are very likely to develop allergies themselves.If one parent has an allergy there is a one in three chance that any child will inherit it.

General tips!
  • Avoid going out at peak pollen times. Look at the pollen forecasts. On high and very high grass pollen count days the worse times are usually in the early morning ( e.g. 7 to 10 am) and late afternoon ( e.g. 4 to 7pm) as this is when most grasses release their pollen.
  • Don't dry washing outside on high pollen count days It will collect pollen from the air.
  • Change clothes and wash hair etc after being out.
  • Cover bed and desks when not in use and then fold the cover back carefully when you want to use the area. Pollen is quite heavy and will settle on surfaces quickly. Keep windows and doors closed to help keep pollen out.
  • Wear sunglasses and a broad brimmed hat.
  • Brush or wash your cat or dog as they can carry a lot of pollen in their fur.
  • When driving keep the windows closed. Service your cars air filter regularly. If possible drive a car with a good pollen filter.

For some respite, close the windows and doors of a room. Sit still and in about 25 mins most of the pollen in the room will have settled so you will be breathing pollen free air. It is best to combine pollen avoidance measures with treatments. Talk to you GP or pharmacist about treatments and remedies. In most cases the symptoms can be controlled.
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Editor: Ryan Cranston

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All content within this article is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. Health Matters is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made by a user based on the content of the Health Matters website. Health Matters is not liable for the contents of any external internet sites listed. Always consult your own GP if you're in any way concerned about your health.

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