Hay fever sufferers hit with warning for next few days
While the predictions of a prolonged period of good weather have been welcomed, for the one in five Irish adults who suffer from hay fever it will also bring very high levels of pollen across the country.
The Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) has said that we are now in peak hay fever season and advised preventative action to minimise the effects. The IPU has advised sufferers to consult with their local pharmacist about the best treatment methods.
Hay fever, also known as seasonal allergic rhinitis, is caused by pollen and spores creating an allergic reaction affecting the nose and sinuses. Although it can occur at any time of year, sufferers are particularly impacted from the spring until autumn. Pollen from grass typically peaks in July, meaning this year’s hay fever season has a few weeks left to run.
While hay fever is a common condition, the symptoms can be extremely unpleasant and include itchy eyes, runny nose, sneezing, coughing and headaches. Community pharmacist and IPU Vice President, Ann Marie Horan issued the following advice to hay fever sufferers:
- Apply a little Vaseline inside the nose to trap pollen and stop it being inhaled;
- Wear sunglasses, preferably wraparound glasses which prevent pollen entering the eyes;
- Don't mow the grass and avoid working in the garden;
- Don't dry clothes outside if possible; and
- Wash your hair, hands and face when you come back indoors and change your clothes to get rid of any pollen.
Pharmacists have a wide range of non-prescription allergy remedies and they can also provide valuable advice to hay fever sufferers.
Pharmacists also warn that hay fever can be a significant trigger for asthma. Asthma patients should ensure they have an up to date prescription for their inhaler and should carry their inhaler at all times and use it as prescribed.
Up to date information on pollen forecasts in your region can be found at: www.met.ie/forecasts/pollen.
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