Hay fever 

An allergy specialist explains who's most likely to be affected by hay fever and how you can prevent and relieve the symptoms.

Facts about hay fever

Transcript of Hay fever

Hayfever is an allergy to various kinds of pollen.

If you're unlucky you're allergic

to several kinds of pollen at different times of the year.

It starts off with the grass pollen,

then it goes on to the tree pollen or vice versa,

I'm not sure which way round.

Most people think that grass pollen's the only cause of hayfever,

which isn't actually the case.

Tree pollens in early spring can be very problematic,

as can mould spores, which occur in spring and autumn.

If we go to the seaside his symptoms are a lot less,

but in town they're quite bad.

It's sometimes worse than living in the countryside.

Oilseed rape's supposed to be really bad for hayfever

but I get it worse in town and I think that's the pollution

from the diesel vans and lorries and buses that drive around.

Hayfever has got much worse in the cities

because of the increased use of diesel.

Pollen grains mixed with the diesel particles

go deep into the airways,

so city slickers have worse hayfever than people living in the countryside.

It's a good idea to check the pollen counts when you're going outdoors,

and when you come back in the evening

to have a shower, wash your hair

and remove all the pollen grains from your body.

I get itchy nose, runny nose,

runny eyes, itchy eyes, sneezing, itching at the back of my throat.

The best thing to do is to try and remain indoors

in the late morning and early evening.

That's when the pollen levels seem to peak.

The grasses pollinate early in the morning,

the pollen rises up into the atmosphere and then comes down in the evening.

There are simple measures you can try to reduce your exposure to pollens.

What you can do is put some Vaseline or petroleum jelly in the lower nostrils

to try and trap the pollen grains and soothe the nose.

Some people wear nasal filters

which they put onto the nose to control their exposure to hayfever.

Wraparound sunglasses are useful.

If you're in a motorcar, the best idea is to close the windows

and switch on the air conditioning

as the car usually has a filter that filters out the pollen grains,

so then you're in a relatively pollen-free environment.

Swimming should be a sport which they can do,

particularly out of doors if they wear goggles and some nose prongs

just to hold the nose to prevent the pollen grains,

which tend to float on the surface of the water, penetrating the nose.

Most hayfever sufferers can carry on exercising outside

and the important thing is to take your medication.

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ceramic said on 22 December 2012

this site is very helpful and needs to be recognised as such. Thank you

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