Information & Advice
Troubled by hayfever? Take some tips from Boots pharmacist Sonia Bassi.
Allergies are a reaction of the immune system to a normally harmless substance in the environment. Hayfever is an allergic reaction some people experience to pollen.
"It's your body reacting to pollen as though it's a harmful substance," explains Sonia.
In the UK, between 20-25 percent of the population suffers from hayfever.
More than half of hayfever sufferers are affected at the height of the season – between May and July.
However, for some people, hayfever isn't just a problem during the summer months. "Some people actually suffer with the symptoms of hayfever all year round," says Sonia.
There are different types of pollen and spores that people may be allergic to. The main ones are:
On humid and windy days, pollen spreads easily. On rainy days, pollen may be cleared from the air, causing pollen levels to fall.
The pollen season can vary depending on where you live. In the UK, the pollen season usually starts earlier in the year in the south and lasts until later in the north.
Some hayfever products, such as cromoglycate eye drops, can help prevent symptoms if they are used for a few weeks before the hayfever season starts.
Symptoms of hayfever include:
Hayfever sufferers may not experience all of these symptoms, says Sonia.
If you experience these symptoms, you may wish to speak to your GP to diagnose hayfever. This is particularly important if you also have asthma because hay fever may make your symptoms worse.
Hayfever sufferers can also speak to a pharmacist who can advise them about products they may wish to consider.
If you suffer from hayfever, try to avoid the pollen," says Sonia. This can be very difficult to do. However, the following tips may help:
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