Sneezing, red eyes and a running nose. These are all signs and symptoms of the dreaded and debilitating condition, hay fever.
"Hay fever can really steal the summer away from a patient"
Every year around March to August 'pollen' season descends upon us, causing havoc with our sinuses.
Dr. Glenis Scadding, consultant physician in allergy and rhinology at the Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital said: “Hay fever can really steal the summer away from a patient. If you have a nose which runs every time you go out, eyes which itch, a nose which blocks up so you can’t talk properly then the summer becomes a misery and the patient ends up staying indoors, unable to go out and have fun. And sometimes they are even severely affected enough to be unable to go to work or school.”
Although there's currently no cure for hay fever, most people are able to relieve symptoms with self-help treatments and a range of medicines.
With April 24 to April 30 marking Allergy Awareness Week 2017 we're determined to help keep your hay fever at bay so we've rounded up a range of tricks and tips.
Medicines which might help combat hay fever
According to the NHS, antihistamines would be one of the ways in which you could treat some of the symptoms of hay fever.
The website states: "Antihistamines treat hay fever by blocking the action of the chemical histamine, which the body releases when it thinks it's under attack from an allergen. This stops the symptoms of the allergic reaction. Antihistamines are usually effective at treating itching, sneezing and watery eyes, but they may not help with clearing a blocked nose. They're available in tablet form and also as nasal sprays and eye drops."
Self help treatments
The NHS also states that it is sometimes possible to prevent the symptoms of hay fever by taking some basic precautions.
Wear wraparound sunglasses
According to the NHS, wearing wraparound sunglasses to stop pollen getting in your eyes when you're outdoors might help.
Remove pollen from your body
Once you've been outdoors, make sure you remove the pollen on your body by taking a shower and changing your clothes.
Stay indoors when the pollen count is high; this is especially the case when the pollen count is more than 50 grains per cubic metre of air.
Stockpile the Vaseline
Apply a small amount of Vaseline or petroleum gel to your nasal openings to trap the pesky pollen grains from getting inside.
Say good riddance to fresh flowers
Don't keep fresh flowers in the house.
Damp dust regularly
Dusting with a wet cloth, rather than a dry one, will collect the dust and stop any pollen being spread around.
Keep pets out of the house during the hay fever season
If your pet does come indoors, wash them regularly to remove any pollen from their fur.
Avoid drying clothes outside
This will help to stop pollen being brought into your house.