Ealing is known as the leafiest borough in London and whilst many of us enjoy the treelined streets others are suffering the miserable conditions of hay fever and asthma.
London plane is a beautiful tree with its characteristic bark on the trunks and maple-like leaves.
At the moment the trees especially the limes aswell as grass are showering their pollen and causing havoc in Ealing but for sufferers the rain may come to give some respite. The combination of pollen and diesel makes the reaction much worse.
For those who want prior warning click the link below
The pollen count is a measurement of the amount of pollen in the air. The higher the count the more severe symptoms of hay fever can become (depending on the specific type of pollen you are allergic to).
The Met Office provides a pollen forecast. If the count is high you can take preventative steps such as taking an antihistamine before leaving the house.
Hay fever symptoms can start as early as April with pollen from some trees like Birch,Lime and Plane. May, June and July are the times when various varieties of grass pollinate, and some even stretch into August. Weeds and fungi spore anytime from April through to November. It also seems that these times are extending now as we feel the effects of global warming and the changing weather patterns.
Who is affected?
Hay fever is one of the most common allergic conditions. It is estimated that there are more than 10 million people with hay fever in England.
Hay fever usually begins in childhood or during the teenage years, but you can get it at any age.
The condition is more common in boys than in girls. In adults, men and women are equally affected.
Hay fever is more likely if there is a family history of allergies, particularly asthma or eczema.
Classical allergic salute – horizontal creasing of the nose secondary to persistent itching and rubbing: this is a sure sign of allergy in the nose
Symptoms of hay fever
Your nose will probably be very watery, runny and you feel congested
Irritation and itchy eyes, soon turning watery
Onset off uncontrollable sneezing
You may well feel itchy in the mouth, nose and throat areas
A loss of smell and food may taste different
Your face may well feel swollen too
Self help tips
It is sometimes possible to prevent the symptoms of hay fever by taking some basic precautions, such as:
- wearing wraparound sunglasses to stop pollen getting in your eyes when you are outdoors
- change your clothes and take a shower after being outdoors to remove the pollen on your body
- try to stay indoors when the pollen count is high (over 50).
- Avoid cutting grass, playing or walking in grassy areas, and camping.
- Try to stay indoors when the pollen count is high (over 50).
- Keep windows and doors shut in the house. If it gets too warm, draw the curtains to keep out the sun and keep the temperature down.
- Don’t keep fresh flowers in the house.
- Vacuum regularly, ideally using a machine with a HEPA (high-efficiency particle arresting) filter.
- Damp dust regularly. Dusting with a wet cloth, rather than a dry one, will collect the dust and stop any pollen from being spread around.
- Keep pets out of the house during the hay fever season. If your pet does come indoors, wash them regularly to remove any pollen from their fur.
- Don’t smoke or let other people smoke in your house. Smoking and breathing in other people’s smoke will irritate the lining of your nose, eyes, throat and airways, and can make your symptoms worse.
- Keep car windows closed. You can buy a pollen filter for the air vents in your car. This will need to be changed every time the car is serviced.
- Rub a small amount of Vaseline inside your lower nostrils. This can help prevent pollen from entering your nasal passages.
- If possible, avoid drying clothes outside. This will help prevent bringing pollen into your house.
Listen to the expert talk about Hay Fever
Posted by Dr Bayer