Friday, 22 August 2014

Don't Let Hayfever Spoil the Summer Fun

I used to be plagued by hay fever during the summer months, from May onwards pretty much.  But after spending one long, hot summer in Samara in the south of Russia my symptoms totally disappeared.  I don't know whether it was being exposed to new pollens, being away from the usual triggers at home, or what, but I am so glad to have seen the back of hay fever.  Unfortunately many people aren't so lucky.

A survey recently commissioned by Piriton found that nearly half (43%) of all British families will be prevented from enjoying summer due to hay fever.  Almost a third (27%) of sufferers miss out on family days out, picnics and garden events every summer as a direct result of hay fever symptoms.  For children, 35% of families with a very young child worry that their child is missing out on summer because of parents' hay fever; and 19% of families worry that it is the child's own hay fever being at its peak which leads to them missing out on summer.

What a shame that so many people are missing out on summer fun because of something which can be so easily treated.  There are easy medicinal ways to treat symptoms, such as antihistamines like Piriton which block the body's release of histamine, its natural response to an allergen, which causes the swelling and congestion.  I know a lot of people also swear by eating locally-produced honeys to prevent hay feveer symptoms in the first place; or taking high doses of vitamin C (up to 500mg 3 or 4 times a day); herb nettle (Urtica dioica); or quercetin to treat symptoms when they appear.

Unfortunately, I'm still allergic to cats (yep, we do have 5!), so when I come into contact with other people's, particularly long-haired ones, I usually have some antihistamines on hand.  Somehow you build up an immunity to your own, although my eyes do stream if I pet them and then forget and rub my eye or something.  They're totally worth it though, honest!


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