So, this is the most common question I ask myself, and I know many of you probably as this question as well. When is it Hay Fever Season, because we want to know when to expect the itchy eyes, the runny nose and everything else that goes along with this allergic reaction to pollen. Many of us want to prepare, to get ourselves ready, to stock up on hay fever tablets. To stockpile whatever remedy we feel helps. So when does this start?
Firstly, what causes hay fever?
Hay fever is an allergic reaction to pollen, typically when it comes into contact with your mouth, nose, eyes and throat. Pollen is a fine powder from plants.
Hay Fever Season
Let’s start as we mean to go on, by giving the brutal truth. There is no hay fever season. There is no period of time that you won’t suddenly stop suffering from hay fever (if you’re a hay fever sufferer of course), and in theory, there is always pollen somewhere in the world all year round. If you were to take a holiday to that place, then you would still suffer from hay fever.
That said, in each country, there are specific months of the year where pollen is being produced and is floating around ready to be inhaled by us. As I am based in the UK I will refer to those months in this post, just to give you a timescale for hay fever season.
Hay Fever season, or at least, hay fever is said to be worse from around late March till September. People who suffer from hay fever will often find it can get worse when warm, humid and windy during these months as this tends to be when the pollen count is highest. The pollen count is an index of the amount of pollen in the air, published chiefly for the benefit of those allergic to it.
How to check if you have hay fever
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
- a headache
- an earache
- feeling tired
If you have asthma, you might also:
- have a tight feeling in your chest
- be short of breath
- wheeze and cough
Hay fever will last for weeks or months, unlike a cold, which usually goes away after 1 to 2 weeks.
What you can try to treat hay fever yourself
Through the posts that will be up on this site, some posts will reference and talk about treatments you can acquire from the pharmacists and doctors.
Hay fever can no be cured and it can’t be prevented, however, you can do things to ease your symptoms when the pollen count is high. Some of these are listed below:
- put Vaseline around your nostrils to trap pollen
- wear wraparound sunglasses to stop pollen getting into your eyes
- shower and change your clothes after you’ve been outside to wash the pollen off
- stay indoors whenever possible
- keep windows and doors shut as much as possible
- vacuum regularly and dust with a damp cloth
- buy a pollen filter for the air vents in your car and a vacuum cleaner with a special HEPA filter
The above are items you can do to ease your symptoms. There are also things not to do, things that if done could make symptoms worse such as:
- cut grass or walk on the grass
- spend too much time outside
- keep fresh flowers in the house
- smoke or be around smoke – it makes your symptoms worse
- dry clothes outside – they can catch pollen
- let pets into the house if possible – they can carry pollen indoors
Try to avoid these so that you have an easier time with your hay fever – avoid making the symptoms worse.
A pharmacist can help with hay fever
Why not speak to a pharmacist if you are suffering from hay fever. They can give advice and suggest the best treatments, like antihistamine drops, tablets or nasal sprays to help with:
- itchy and watery eyes and sneezing
- a blocked nose
Remember, See a GP if:
- your symptoms are getting worse
- your symptoms don’t improve after taking medicines from the pharmacy
What treatments for hay fever can a GP provide
If you see your GP about your hay fever, if it’s that bad, then they might prescribe steroids.
If you find that the steroids and other hay fever treatments don’t work, your GP may refer you for immunotherapy. What this means is 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 3 months before the hay fever season begins.
So, that’s a little about hay fever and its season…
This post probably went into a lot more details on what hay fever is than when is it hay fever season. The short answer is, in the UK and probably a lot of other countries, hay fever season is late March till September. This is the time of year pollen is being produced and in the warmer or windy months its spreading through the air and getting into our eyes, nostrals and causing use the itchy runny eyes, sneezing and all the other fun stuff we associate with hay fever.
Now, in future posts I really want to take a look at suggestions of things that help, off the shelf remedies and other such items to try and see if any of these help me or you. So please stay with me and we’ll take this journey together.
Can I ask, if you have any remedies you use, please drop them in a comment below and we will go through these too.