The arrival of Spring brings with it warm weather and the blossoming of flowers. It is a beautiful time of year, but unfortunately for some, it also brings on hay fever. It is the season of pollen from flowers, seeds, and grasses that can cause allergies for many people.
Hay fever or rhinitis is an allergy that causes cold-like symptoms such as a runny nose or congestion, sneezing, itchy eyes, and sinus pressure. These symptoms present similar to a cold, but are actually caused by an allergic reaction to harmless outdoor or indoor substances that the body identifies as harmful (allergen).
Many people that suffer from hayfever differ in what substances trigger them, usually pollen and dust mites. Other triggers can include skin shed by cats, dogs, and other animals with fur or feathers.
Hay fever can make you feel extremely unhappy and take a toll on your day-to-day activities. Your performance at work or school can be affected, which is why it is important to discuss your symptoms with your GP and ensure you are taking the correct medication and avoiding your triggers where possible.
Common Symptoms include sneezing, itchy and sometimes sore throat, a runny nose and irritated, watery eyes.
If you suffer from hay fever, start taking allergy medication, which can be bought over the counter at your local pharmacy.
Some people can have an anaphylactic reaction to airborne allergens. If this applies to you, you should ensure that you always have an EpiPen with you this season.
Hay fever can also cause an onset of asthma. Ensure that your asthma management plan is up-to-date by booking an appointment with your GP. You may need to renew your scripts for asthma prevention and management. Remember to always have your medication with you.
Spring Is Also Cold Season
It may seem counterintuitive, but winter is not the peak time for colds. Spring is often associated with rapid temperature changes and barometric pressures; these changes can lead to irritation of the mucous membranes (the lining of your nose, throat and lungs). This irritation can lead to a weakening of the immune system, and therefore, you are more susceptible to infections. Rhinoviruses are especially widespread in Spring; these viruses cause 50% of the common colds.
Moreover, COVID-19 is still circulating and presents a greater risk to certain groups, including those with comorbidity conditions and those with asthma. For these people, it is essential to reduce your risk of exposure by adopting measures, such as wearing N95 masks in crowded public spaces.
Ways To Stay Healthy This Spring
- Eating Healthy foods and exercising regularly.
- Get a good night’s sleep of at least 7 hours.
- Stay hydrated. As the weather heats up, it is important to increase your hydration.
- Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes.
- Put on sunscreen. Even cool sunny days can lead to sunburn, harm your skin, and increase your risk of skin cancer.