Hay fever advice
Hello, I'm Dr Glenis Scadding. I work at the Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital in London as a consultant allergist and rhinologist. Hayfever is an allergy. It's an allergy to pollen, usually to grass pollen, affecting people in June and July, but sometimes to other pollens, tree pollens in the spring and weed and mould pollens in the autumn. About 100 years ago hayfever was very rare. It's become increasingly common and now it affects about one in four of the population. Diagnosis is usually by the history. It's pretty easy to recognise.
That people who don't have any problems all year round and who suddenly have problems in June and July have hayfever. And there's often no need to do any particular test. If, however, the symptoms are not so clear or they're on a background of chronic symptoms, it may be worthwhile undertaking tests for specific IgE, that's the allergy antibody against the relevant pollen. And you can do that on the patient by skinprick testing. You can also do it by a blood test. Hayfever 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 even severely affected enough to be unable to go to work or school. Hayfever symptoms usually start once the pollen grains reach a certain level of about ten grains per cubic millimetre. They last throughout the season but they will vary from day to day.
Because the pollen count varies according to the weather. It will go down if it rains hard or if it's cold, it'll be high if it's a very warm, sunny day. Treatments are available for hayfever. For very mild disease, then an antihistamine taken as required is fine. And there are perfectly good antihistamines available over the counter at pharmacists'. The thing to avoid, though, is taking a sedating antihistamine. If you do that, then you may be sleepy, your driving ability may be impaired and your working and academic ability may also be impaired.
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Achoo! I'm bite'n my nails searching for relievin', All these treatments, I don't believe in, rubbin my eyes, it itches like mad, Squirt'nsteroids up my nose, now that's gotta be bad www What's the pollen count Scratch tests might find my triggers alone, Can't live in a bubble, allergyproof home, If your so smart then go ahead and fix this Tingles in my noselike I'm snorting some Whiz Fizz! it's sherbet not cocaine! www What's the pollen count I'm sittin at my laptop, searching for a cure, People coming at me promise and a lure, Naturopaths, Pharmacy salesmen and Doctors,.
Hayfever is an allergy to various kinds of pollen. If you're unlucky you're allergic to several kinds of pollen at different times of the year. It starts off with the grass pollen, then it goes on to the tree pollen or vice versa, I'm not sure which way round. Most people think that grass pollen's the only cause of hayfever, which isn't actually the case. Tree pollens in early spring can be very problematic, as can mould spores, which occur in spring and autumn. If we go to the seaside his symptoms are a lot less,.
But in town they're quite bad. It's sometimes worse than living in the countryside. Oilseed rape's supposed to be really bad for hayfever but I get it worse in town and I think that's the pollution from the diesel vans and lorries and buses that drive around. Hayfever has got much worse in the cities because of the increased use of diesel. Pollen grains mixed with the diesel particles go deep into the airways, so city slickers have worse hayfever than people living in the countryside. It's a good idea to check the pollen counts when you're going outdoors,.
And when you come back in the evening to have a shower, wash your hair and remove all the pollen grains from your body. I get itchy nose, runny nose, runny eyes, itchy eyes, sneezing, itching at the back of my throat. The best thing to do is to try and remain indoors in the late morning and early evening. That's when the pollen levels seem to peak. The grasses pollinate early in the morning, the pollen rises up into the atmosphere and then comes down in the evening. There are simple measures you can try to reduce your exposure to pollens.
What you can do is put some Vaseline or petroleum jelly in the lower nostrils to try and trap the pollen grains and soothe the nose. Some people wear nasal filters which they put onto the nose to control their exposure to hayfever. Wraparound sunglasses are useful. If you're in a motorcar, the best idea is to close the windows and switch on the air conditioning as the car usually has a filter that filters out the pollen grains, so then you're in a relatively pollenfree environment. Swimming should be a sport which they can do,.
Allergy UK talk hay fever on Sky News
Beautiful sunny weather and no rain lovely for the weekend but it sent pollen levels soaring over much of the country so if you're suffering with hay fever what can you do about it Lindsay mcmanus is from allergy UK joins us now I suffer terribly and I heard you on the radio this morning saying that you don't but you're son does and something like twenty odd million of us have got some issues with allergy at this time of year what can we do about it I think the most important thing is that you make sure you're taking.
Any medications that you have your antihistamines, your nasal sprays, your eye drops regularly everyday don't just be sort of hit and miss with taking them thinking oh it's a bit of a bad day today I'll take one it's everyday is important to keep it under the best control and practical advice things like wearing wrap around sunglasses when you're outside washing your hair and changing your clothes before you go into your bedroom stops all the pollen being in there over night time causing problems lots of practical tips.
Maybe er a pollen barrier balm just around your nostrils stops the pollen going up there but it's be consistent with what you're doing and if the over the counter type of medications aren't helping at all you know as much as you think that they should be pop along and see your GP because there are other alternatives as well is it worse is it getting worse the number of people that are suffering from hay fever in in this country I think allergies as a whole have um.
Tripled in the UK over the last thirty years over the last twenty years sorry so we have seen a rise and this year we've seen the ideal growing conditions for trees and grass and weeds the things that we're seeing at the moment at very very high pollen levels a very warm winter very mild lots of rain so everything's flowering in abundance at the moment right in the middle of the grass pollen season so it's been a nightmare for people it's a very underestimated condition actually and it's not just having a runny nose is it I mean it really lays people low.
It can if you have the more severe end of the spectrum you've got a runny nose itchy eyes congestion for some people it triggers their asthma which can be a particularly dangerous we see alot hospital admissions at this time of year for asthma being triggered by um allergies to pollen it could cause itchy ears itchy back of the throat we think in asthmatics so and it stops people sleeping it effects their work production at work and at school so it can be really quite debilitating and it's not just being around areas where there's grass.
Or trees cause a lot of people in city center seem to get it as well that's right pollens actually cling to pollution in the air things like diesel fumes so you think you'd be safer sort of in land and cities than you would in the country but it can actually be just as bad if not worse I was tweeting about it a little bit earlier on earlier and saying that you were coming to join us on the program and a lot of people who quite obviously don't suffer think it's.
Been quite light hearted about it but of course it is something that you can grow into as well as out of so just because you don't have it now you shouldn't be too smug about it absolutely not it can come on later in life just as much as it can develop with childhood allergies we tend to recognize but yeah a lot of adults develop it as they get old and you can grow out of it too yeah your symptoms can if you've had allergies sorry if you've had hay fever as a young child and you've had it through sort of early adult life.
We often see people into their forties and fifties start to lessen the symptoms and even grow out of it okay great to talk you thanks very much indeed for the tips we really appreciate it thanks a lot um let me know have you got hay fever have you been struggling particularly at this time of year apparently it's the highest it has been the whole of the year yesterday and today and don't I know it are you a sufferer how you getting through it let me know if you're not to be too smug because you can grow into it.
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