By Kim O’Leary
Lloyds Pharmacy research shows that over a third (38%) of Dublin-based adults have experienced hay fever symptoms in the last 12 months, with people’s everyday lives being impacted quite substantially as a result.
Of those experiencing symptoms, 36% said that their sleep has been impacted and 49% are spending less time outside as a result of their symptoms.
Due to the pandemic, it is more important than ever to manage your hay fever symptoms correctly. This can help avoid misdiagnosing symptoms that can be attributed to both hay fever and COVID-19.
Pollen season typically runs from April to September and some people across Ireland can experience hay fever as the pollen levels increase.
LloydsPharmacy research shows some of the most common hay fever symptoms range from sneezing (74%), runny or blocked nose (74%) and itchy, red and/or watery eyes (68%). The LloydsPharmacy team is on hand to help keep symptoms under control and Pharmacists can recommend the correct products to protect, treat or relieve hay fever symptoms.
LloydsPharmacy Superintendent Pharmacist, Denis O’Driscoll’s expert tips for when allergies hit include:
1. Be aware of the pollen count and on high pollen count days (often warmer days) take steps to minimise your exposure such as keeping windows closed in your house, office or car.
2. Exercise in the morning rather than the evening when there are higher rates of pollen falling.
3. It’s a tough one, but try to minimise contact with pets that have been outdoors and are likely to carry pollen
4. Ask others to refrain from smoking in your home. Smoking and breathing in secondhand smoke irritates the lining of your nose, eyes, throat and airways.
5. Do not keep fresh flowers in the house.
6. Identify your allergens and triggers and take measures to avoid them. Keep a record of when these triggers are most troublesome and make sure to take effective medication early
These tips are great to keep in mind in general for hay fever sufferers, but in order to best manage and treat symptoms visiting your local LloydsPharmacy is important to get advice that is personal to your symptoms, medical history and lifestyle.
LloydsPharmacy research found that 1 in 5 of those that have had hay fever symptoms in the past 12 months do not use products or take medication to help relieve their hay fever symptoms. When it comes to deciding on which products to buy, previous experience when using a product (48%) and the advice of the pharmacist (40%) are deemed to be most important.
Denis O’Driscoll Superintendent Pharmacist said: ‘‘Allergies can have a real impact on people’s lives, as demonstrated by this research. It’s really important to treat symptoms correctly and ensure the appropriate products are being taken to treat symptoms. The LloydsPharmacy team and Pharmacists are available to advise on the best products to use to treat allergies. Feel free to pop in store or call them and they will be happy to help.’’