Summer is gradually creeping up on us. Trees have started to blossom, flowers are out, and the fields are full of rapeseed, and the grass is being cut… how many of you have started to itch, sneeze, runny/stuffy nose, cough, and rub your eyes?? Hay fever sucks right.
Hayfever is also known as ‘allergic rhinitis’ affects 1 in 5 people at some point in their lives. Approx 10 million people in the UK suffer from hayfever. Hayfever is an allergy to pollen. Pollen is a fine powder-like substance, and usually yellow in colour.
Buzzaboutbees state “At its most basic, pollen carries cells which enable fertilisation of plants, thus enabling the plant to reproduce.”
Pollen usually falls into three categories- tree pollen, grass pollen and weed pollen.
I used to suffer terribly as a child, my eyes would turn red, and swell to the size of golf balls, I used to place ice cold wet flannels on my eyes. I used to itch so bad, sneezed up to 100 times a day. It was awful, nothing seemed to help. My parents used to buy me all the antihistamines available. Luckily, as I have got older my symptoms have diminished and are much more tolerable. Many people find their symptoms get better as they get older.
There is no cure for hay fever, but you can do many things to help alleviate the symptoms.
The best way to reduce your chances of being hit by hayfever is to stay indoors during the summer. Not really the best way to spend your summer though is it? There are many products available, depending on the severity of your allergy.
-Corticosteroids nasal spray (steroids)
What can I do to help my child?
-Wear sunglasses, can help reduce the amount of pollen that enters the eyes
-Place vaseline around the tip of the nasal passages. This will help trap the pollen and stop it from penetrating the nose.
-Keep a bottle of Piriton handy
-Watch the pollen count, when its high try to avoid going outdoors
-Take a shower to wash off the pollen after being outside, or just changing your clothes can help
-Keep a cool pack/ice pack handy for the eyes if they begin to itch/swell
-Drink plenty of water
-Water nasal rinses (Adults)
– Keep car windows closed and consider buying a pollen filter for the air vents
-“Onions and garlic can be used for their homeopathic effect – the symptoms they cause, they can also treat. Both contain natural compounds that reduce the inflammation of hay fever. Add them liberally to your meals or, if you are up to it, eat them by themselves to reduce nasal irritation and streaming eyes.
-Local raw honey can be used as a crude form of homeopathy to desensitise yourself to local pollens from which the honey was produced. Start by taking a small amount each day before the start of hay fever season, gradually increasing to a teaspoon or more. Continue right through the season for best results.”
Hay fever doesn’t pose a dangerous threat to health, it can, however, have a negative impact on a person’s quality of life. People/children with very severe hay fever often find that it can disrupt their productivity at school or work.
School was hard for me during the summer months. I never went outside to play on the field, I used to stay indoors or go to lunchtime clubs, or sit in the library. I never really participated in sports day, as it meant staying out all day on the field in July. I sat a few exams in my own separate room because I kept sneezing, sniffing and coughing and was a distraction to the other students, Please seek medical advice if your child suffers.