What Is Hay Fever?
It refers to cold-like symptoms experienced after inhaling pollen from plants at certain times of the year. If you are allergic to pollen, breathing it in results in swelling of the lining inside the airway, known as inflammation. It affects eyes (conjunctivitis), nose (rhinitis), ears, throat and the lungs. Hay fever is also referred to as seasonal allergic rhinitis.
It happens at certain times of the year when plants release pollen in the air. Pollen is a known allergen causing a lot of allergic responses. In the UK, at least one in every 4 people is affected by hay fever. Out of those affected with this condition, 9 out of 10 are allergic to grass pollen. Most people are allergic to pollen from trees and grass. They suffer hay fever symptoms for many months in the year.
Hay fever starts in childhood and occurs at the same time every year. If you suffer from hay fever symptoms all year round, you suffer from perennial rhinitis. Both perennial and seasonal rhinitis can cause asthma. If you are asthmatic, having untreated hay fever can lead to a severe asthma attack during the pollen season. Disposable face masks are a great way to combat this is by using new masks regularly, this means there will be no lingering pollen as there could be on a mask that is being reused.
How Is Hay Fever Treated?
It is treated in the following ways.
1. Avoid any exposure to pollen in the air.
2. You should be aware of the pollen count.
3. When the pollen count is high, especially in the countryside, you should stay away.
4. When driving or travelling in a car, the windows should be shut. Install a pollen filter in your car.
5. Don’t go outdoors when there is a high pollen count especially when the air is warming up in the morning or cooling down in the evening.
6. Your bedroom windows should be closed early in the morning or in the evening when there is a high pollen count.
7. Keep your pillows under the bed covers during the day to avoid any pollen from settling when you open your windows during the day.
8. When you go outside, you should wear glasses to prevent pollen from getting into your eyes.
9. When you get back indoors after being outside on a day when the pollen count is too high, you need to wash your hair and face.
10. Apply Vaseline around your eyes and nose to trap pollen and prevent it from getting into your eyes or nose.
11. Buy a nasal air filter.
12. You should do nasal douching to remove pollen trapped in your nose.
Hay Fever And COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic is spreading into the hay fever season. Statistics have revealed that at least 44% of transmission happens when people are asymptomatic or presymptomatic. Sneezing and coughing will spread the virus widely. If you have hay fever and may have contracted COVID-19 without knowing, you need to control your symptoms properly.
Wear a face mask and maintain social distancing at all times in supermarkets and public transport. Most of the medication used for the treatment of hay fever should be used. However, you should avoid injections and oral corticosteroids because they suppress your immune system. If you are suffering from asthma, you should have your inhaler with you at all times.
Remember, COVID-19 symptoms are quite similar to hay fever systems because they are all cold-like symptoms. These include dry cough, fever and sudden loss of smell. Hay fever symptoms are more irritant thereby resulting in sneezing but you might not have a fever. If you are in doubt, you should self-isolate and report your symptoms immediately.