As the northern hemisphere heads into spring and summer, those of us who are afflicted with seasonal allergies stock up on tissues, eye drops and antihistamines. In this article look at when allergy season is and how to lessen the effects (if possible) of seasonal allergies.
When is allergy season?
Allergy season, or what many people call “Hay Fever Season” normally lasts from late March through to the end of September. As the northern hemisphere becomes warmer, allergy season is arriving earlier and earlier in the year. Approximately 13 million people in the UK alone are affected by hay fever and it can be so uncomfortable, with swollen eyes and constant sneezing, that many people find it difficult to work.
Seasonal allergy symptoms
Seasonal allergy symptoms differ from person to person but often include:
- Nasal congestion
- Congested, pink, itchy eyes
- Itchy sinuses, throat and ear canals
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Constant sneezing
- Postnasal drainage
Countryside versus the city
Some people think that allergies are worse in the countryside, but research shows that the high levels of carbon dioxide in the city and other urban areas can result in longer pollen seasons.
Prepare for allergy season
For many people, allergy season is a season of major discomfort. If you suffer from allergies year after year, it is advised you stock up on the products that help you deal with your allergies before the season hits. Certain antihistamines work better if you start them before you even start experiencing symptoms, so it’s crucial you know at what point in the year you start to suffer from seasonal allergies. If you are experiencing symptoms for the first time, it’s important you speak to your doctor or your pharmacist and get their advice as to how you can treat your symptoms. You may even need combination therapy if you are experiencing multiple symptoms.
The pollen calendar
Every year, the Met Office updates the citizens of the UK as to what the pollen count is and publishes a pollen calendar that highlights when pollen from certain trees, grasses and weeds will be at their worst. Pollen from Alder, Elm and Hazel trees is found in the air until mid-April. After which the pollen from Birch, Oak and other trees come into play. The calendar also highlights when you can expect to experience seasonal allergies from certain weeds and when grass pollens are at their highest. The most common types of hay fever and allergies are reactions to grass pollen.
How to reduce your symptoms
Your symptoms will be at their worst when the pollen count is at its highest. The time of the day is also important. Mornings and evenings are usually the worst during allergy season as this is the time when the most pollen is released into the air.
The best thing you can do, besides treating your symptoms with various medications, is to introduce certain lifestyle changes that can help reduce your exposure to pollen. Try and keep your windows closed in your house and car. This is especially important in the mornings and evenings when more pollen is released into the air. Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes. Consider buying an air filter for your home and avoid drying your clothes outside to limit their pollen contamination.
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