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Getting relief from hay fever 

Hay fever is usually worse between late March and September, especially when it’s warm, humid and windy. This is when the pollen count is at its highest.

Symptoms of hay fever include sneezing and coughing, a runny or blocked nose, itchy, red or watery eyes, itchy throat, mouth, nose and ears, loss of smell, pain around your temples and forehead, headache, earache and/or feeling tired.

If you have asthma, you might also have a tight feeling in your chest, be short of breath or wheeze and cough.

Hay fever will last for weeks or months, unlike a cold, which usually goes away after one to two weeks.

There’s currently no cure for hay fever and you can’t prevent it. But you can do things to ease your symptoms when the pollen count is high.

Tips include putting Vaseline around your nostrils to trap pollen, wearing wraparound sunglasses to stop pollen getting into your eyes, shower and change your clothes after you’ve been outside to wash pollen off, stay indoors whenever possible, keep windows and doors shut as much as possible,

vacuum regularly and dust with a damp cloth and buy a pollen filter for the air vents in your car and a vacuum cleaner with a special HEPA filter

Don’t cut grass or walk on grass, do not spend too much time outside, do not keep fresh flowers in the house, do not smoke or be around smoke (it makes your symptoms worse), do not dry clothes outside (they can catch pollen) and don’t let pets into the house if possible as they can carry pollen indoors.

Speak to your pharmacist if you have hay fever. They can give advice and suggest the best treatments, like antihis-tamine drops, tablets or nasal sprays to help.

If steroids and other hay fever treatments don’t work, your GP may refer you for immuno-therapy. This means you’ll be given small amounts of pollen as an injection or tablet to slowly build up your immunity to pollen. This kind of treatment usually starts in the winter about three months before the hay fever season begins.