Hay fever: Take action NOW to get ahead of the ‘miserable’ onslaught of symptoms

Natalie Cassidy shows off the impact of her hay fever

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Ifti Khan, Well Superintendent Pharmacist, warned hay fever can “affect the whole respiratory system”, making it a “miserable experience for many”. So how do you get ahead of the relentless allergy? “Get hay fever ready,” said Khan. “Hay fever can be easily managed with advance preparation by having antihistamines, sprays and other treatments available before symptoms start.” Even toddlers can develop an allergy to pollen. Are the little ones in your life affected by the condition?

According to medical experts, hay fever – also known as allergic rhinitis –affects up to 30 percent of children. There are tell-tale signs too.

Experts at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, elaborated: “If your child has hay fever, they have frequent bouts of sneezing.”

Other indications of the allergy include a runny and blocked nose, with either one or both nostrils feeling blocked.

The condition can also lead to itchy ears, an itchy throat and roof of the mouth.

As for the eyes, they may become red, itchy, swollen or itchy, and headaches may develop.

Left untreated, hay fever can lead to poor sleep quality, causing tiredness and daytime sleepiness.

In some cases, hay fever can even make asthma more difficult to control, increase the likelihood of sinus infections, and affect children’s learning and performance.

Hay fever may even lead to a husky voice, sore throat, bad breath and frequent eye infections.

Usual hay fever treatment for children includes non-drowsy antihistamines and steroid nasal sprays.

“Your doctor or pharmacist can give advice on which medication may be best for your child,” the experts stated.

The NHS added tips on how to prevent hay fever for sufferers, which includes minimising contact with pollen.

“If possible, stay indoors when the pollen count is high (over 50),” the NHS stated.

Another tip is to rub a small amount of “Vaseline (petroleum gel) inside your lower nostrils can help to prevent pollen from entering your nasal passages”.

It’s advisable not to keep fresh flowers in your home, which could trigger symptoms.

And when the pollen count is high, try to remain indoors, with the doors and windows shut.

The NHS added: “If it gets too warm, draw the curtains to keep out the sun and lower the temperature.”

When it comes to cleaning the home, the health body suggests vacuuming regularly, and to dust with a wet cloth.

And when it comes to washing clothes, no matter how tempting, try not to dry your clothes outside.

“Don’t smoke or let other people smoke in your house,” the NHS added. “Smoking and breathing in other people’s smoke will irritate the lining of your nose, eyes, throat and airways, making your symptoms worse.”

When going outside is inevitable, try to avoid grassy areas and wear wraparound glasses.

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