It’s well and truly here. If you’re not sitting on your hands in a bid to stop scratching your eyeballs and you’re not constantly wiping a steady stream of fluid away from your nostrils, then you don’t understand the struggle. The runny nose, the itchy eyes, the scratchy throat, the itchy ears, the itchy mouth, the sneezing, the head full of cotton wool… Hayfever isn’t something to joke about. It’s an allergic reaction to pollen, either from trees, grass, weeds, in fact any plant life. It affects the eyes, nose, mouth and throat, sometimes the ears as they’re all connected. It can be really awful, especially if you have extreme symptoms. Hay fever can develop at any age, so if you think you don’t have it, you may be surprised next year or the year after.

You can purchase treatments for hay fever, in all kinds of forms. Antihistamines come in the form of tablets or nasal sprays. These can be bought over the counter, or in pretty much any supermarket, and can be used as a precaution or as a treatment.

Eye drops relieve that horrible itchy eye feeling, although contact lens wearers are recommended to wear their glasses with these.

Steroids, or corticosteroids, come in the form of tablets, nasal sprays or eye drops. These are a lot stronger that antihistamines.

You should wear close fitting sunglasses in summer or when your symptoms are manifesting. Stay indoors when the pollen count is high and avoid activities where you will be surrounded by pollen, i.e. parks and out of walks in the countryside etc. Drive with the windows up in your car and have a pollen filter on the air con system.

It’s really trying, but if you’re clued up beforehand you should find that you manage your symptoms just fine with plenty of preparation and practice.

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