The summer is finally here so it’s time to smile, take out the summer wardrobe, put the shades and sun cream on…and start sneezing and rubbing your itchy eyes…does that sound familiar? Are you sick of hay fever symptoms ruining your summer break? It’s so annoying to plan a lovely holiday and end up spending your time away feeling miserable because of allergies. I’ve suffered from hay fever myself (only when I lived in Dublin…as I’m a Cork girl my body was obviously telling me to move home to the real capital!) so I understand just how horrible it can be. It can be beaten though…just read on for my simple tips and advice to stop hay fever spoiling your holiday!
Firstly, for those of you who aren’t sure what hay fever feels like (you’re lucky!), the most common symptoms include sneezing, a blocked or runny nose, sinus congestion, headaches, itchy red and watery eyes, ears popping, and a feeling of intense lethargy. It’s an allergic reaction caused by pollen or dust and the symptoms are due to inflammation of the mucus membranes of the nose and eyes. I recommend a three step approach to combat symptoms. Firstly, take an oral antihistamine – this will reduce the body’s reaction to allergens. There are several oral antihistamines available, including an oral liquid for children over two years old. Ask your pharmacist for advice as to which is most suitable for you. If this isn’t enough to control your symptoms you can also use a nasal spray and/or eye drops…there’s no problem using all three steps together if required. Call into us in LloydsPharmacy today and we will give you expert advice as to the best options for you. If you’re going on holidays abroad this summer I recommend that you bring anti-histamine in your medicine bag even if you’ve never suffered from hay fever before, as the different pollens in a foreign country might affect you, and you don’t want to waste precious vacation time in a pharmacy!
Top tips to stop hay fever spoiling your holiday:
- Never sleep with the bedroom window open and keep car windows closed, chiefly in the late morning and late afternoon.
- Wear wrap-around sunglasses.
- Put a smear of Vaseline inside each nostril to prevent pollen from entering the nasal cavity.
- Wear a face mask when mowing the lawn…or if possible get someone else to do it…you’re on your holidays!!
- Check the pollen count regularly (Met Éireann & Accuweather both give a detailed daily update) and take extra precautions, such as staying indoors during peak pollen times, when the count is high.
- Holiday at the seaside as the sea breeze can blow pollen away.
- Never dry clothes outside and change your clothes after coming in from outside.
If you’ve any questions or would like any advice about allergy prevention and treatment, or anything else, please call in to your local LloydsPharmacy and we will be delighted to help you in any way we can!
Written by Deirdre O’Mahony, LloydsPharmacy Kinsale