Doctor Hilary on the difference between covid and hay fever
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Data from the Kleenex Pollen Forecast has warned that sunny spells will see tree pollen levels spiking this weekend. This comes as the UK approaches “the peak” of the pollen season. Fortunately, there’s plenty you can do so your Easter egg snacking doesn’t get hampered.
According to Boots Chief Pharmacist Marc Donovan, there are two key principles when it comes to tackling hay fever symptoms – avoiding pollen and decreasing histamine levels in your body.
From stocking up on hay fever medicine to home remedies, you can get prepared for the upcoming pollen bomb with various measures.
The main tips the pharmacist provided include:
- Checking the pollen forecast
- Closing windows
- Knowing the timings
- Applying petroleum jelly
- Being mindful about transferring pollen
- Finding the products or medication that work for you.
Checking the pollen forecast
Mr Donovan said: “When the pollen count is high, it’s likely allergies will be worse at this time.
“It’s therefore important to keep an eye on the Met Office website daily to monitor the pollen count so you can act fast if needed.”
If you’re not aware, pollen levels are measured by Pollen Grains Per Cubic Metre (PPM).
Kleenex explained that reading between 200 and 703 for tree pollen is considered to be high, with anything above 704 being “very high”.
On Good Friday, the hardest hit cities are forecasted to be Manchester with 791 PPM and Leicester with 719PPM.
These are followed by Birmingham set to experience 650 PPM and London with 619 PPM.
While the sunny weather and blooming nature might tempt you to open your windows and get some of that fresh air in, Mr Donovan advised against ventilation.
He said: “If you are going out for the day or staying inside your home, ensure windows in your car and house are closed to minimise pollen exposure on days when the count is high.”
Knowing your timings
When it comes to pollen count, different times of the day can see different amounts, so knowing the peak time could help.
The pharmacist explained: “Around midday is a time where pollen count is usually at its lowest, so take this opportunity to get outside for some fresh air.”
Applying petroleum jelly
Using petroleum jelly under your nose could help catch any pollen before it reaches the inside of your nose.
Mr Donovan said: “Apply a barrier balm of petroleum jelly, like Vaseline, around your nose to trap pollen.”
Being mindful about transferring pollen
Once you come back from your midday walk, it’s crucial to change your clothes to avoid symptoms cropping up.
The expert said: “Change your clothes as soon as you come indoors. It’s best to take a shower and wash your hair too, as pollen is difficult to remove unless it’s wet.”
Finding the products or medication that work for you
With the pharmacy shelves stocked up with various boxes, packing tablets and sprays promising to tackle hay fever, it can be difficult to navigate the variety and choose the right medicine.
Mr Donovan added: “You can always speak to your pharmacist to find which products are suitable for you.
“If over the counter remedies are not proving effective, speak to your GP or consider visiting our Boots Online Doctor, which offers a Hay fever Treatment service.”
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