How to Battle the Dreaded Hay Fever

You're probably all too familiar with hay fever symptoms—the runny nose, the sneezing, the itchy (oh-so-itchy) red eyes. Hay fever is an allergy to pollen. And it's a very common allergy, affecting two in 10 people in the UK. Thankfully the symptoms of hay fever are seasonal, occurring only in the spring and summer months when pollens counts are at the highest. People can be allergic to different types of pollen, from grass pollen to tree pollen to weed pollen, hence why different hay fever sufferers can experience a different severity of symptoms despite being in the same environment.

So what are the symptoms?

  • Runny nose
  • Blocked nose
  • Sneezing
  • Itchy, watery, red eyes

Asthma symptoms

People who suffer with asthma and eczema are more likely to develop hay fever. This is because the three conditions are atopic. Atopy means they are driven by an underlying allergy. If you already have asthma, symptoms of wheezing and breathlessness may increase during hay fever season, as pollen can be the trigger.

How is hay fever diagnosed?

Hay fever is diagnosed based on symptoms and the seasonal nature in which they occur. Allergy tests are rarely needed and only carried out if the underlying cause of the symptoms is unclear or the severity of symptoms is out of proportion to classic hay fever symptoms, suggesting there may be another cause.

Keep scrolling for Dr. Jane Leonard's tips on hay fever treatment.




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