Whilst many rush outdoors to enjoy the best of the summer weather, external activities can often be met with anticipation around hayfever. A common ailment that affects many adults and children, hayfever can be unpleasant to suffer with, particularly during the warmer months when it is particularly prevalent. NHS GP, Dr Tara of @themedicmummy, has provided us with her expertise on dealing with the condition and ways in which you can minimise your symptoms.
Hayfever can be really miserable, especially for children! It can impact sleep and their daily activities at school. Hayfever is an allergy caused by pollen; the symptoms include itchy eyes, nose and throat, watery eyes, blocked or runny nose, and sneezing. The symptoms are worse between March and September when the pollen counts are highest. People may have symptoms at different times of the year depending on which pollen they are allergic to.
It's difficult to avoid pollen entirely, but there are simple measures that will help reduce exposure and ease symptoms.
Ways to help minimise exposure
1. Keep an eye on the pollen count and plan indoor activities if possible when the pollen counts are at their highest. Remember to keep the windows and doors shut so pollen does not enter the house and keep the car windows shut when driving. The Met Office website provides a UK forecast of the pollen count.
2. If you do go outside, change your clothes, have a bath and wash your hair when you come back indoors. This will help remove any pollen and reduce the amount of pollen surrounding you in the house. Avoid drying clothes outside as they will pick up pollen.
3. You can apply Vaseline to the inside of the nose to trap the pollen. To prevent the pollen from irritating the eyes you can wear wraparound glasses.
4. A vacuum cleaner or air purifier with a HEPA filter may be beneficial and reduce the amount of pollen in the house.
5. There are hayfever treatments such as oral antihistamines, eye drops and nasal sprays but speak to your pharmacist or GP to understand which options are safe and suitable for your child.
What to do with worsening symptoms
If the symptoms are not controlled with these measures, if your child is experiencing worsening symptoms, or if symptoms are occurring all year round, speak to your doctor for further advice and support.
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