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For most of us, spring and summer mean warm weather, long lazy days and plenty of sunshine. However, for an unlucky group it’s also the start of a season of runny noses, itchy, watery eyes and pockets full of tissues! If that’s you, you’re not alone; 1 in 5 people suffer from hay fever during spring and summer when trees and plants release their pollens.
An estimated 10 million people in the UK suffer from hay fever allergies. It affects everyone differently; some people suffer most between March and May when trees release their pollen, while others suffer through the height of summer from May to August when grasses release pollens, or late autumn when weed pollens are released.
You can get it at any age, though for most people hay fever is at its worst during childhood and teenage years, and more common in boys than girls. Many people find their symptoms improve naturally as they get older; for a lucky 10 -20% of people, symptoms eventually disappear altogether.
The most effective way to prevent hay fever allergies is to avoid exposure, though for most of us that’s easier said than done.
Taking over-the-counter medications from your pharmacist and staying indoors when the pollen count is high will help minimise the worst of your symptoms.
If you know you’ll be outdoors, try wearing wraparound sunglasses to protect your eyes and applying Vaseline to the bottom of your nostril to help trap pollen grains before they enter your nose.
There’s no cure for hay fever, but the good news is there are effective treatment options to help relieve and reduce symptoms so you can enjoy the best of the British weather.
If standard antihistamines don’t quite cut it for you, the Kenalog hay fever injection might be the ideal solution for you. The one-time treatment can dramatically reduce your symptoms and see you through the worst of allergy season.
At our private clinic in Edinburgh we provide a comprehensive allergy testing service, which tests for more than 500 allergens, including common culprits like dust, pollens, foods and bee and wasp stings.
I was in significant amount of pain and was seen very quickly by Dr McFarlane. He was able to immediately identify the problem. He carried out the minor surgery immediately, with great skill. I would not hesitate in recommending him as an excellent GP.