‘Pollen bomb’ creates chaos for hay fever sufferers

Hay fever can be extremely uncomfortable and frustrating. While this isn’t a cure, there are plenty of things you can do to help alleviate the symptoms. 

‘Pollen bomb’ creates chaos for hay fever sufferers

According to reports, pollen levels are worse than normal this year, causing misery for hay fever sufferers. Particular weather conditions are thought to have led to an increase in the production of tree and grass pollen, making it difficult for even mild sufferers, and triggering people who previously haven’t experienced the symptoms of hay fever to feel unwell.

What is hay fever?


Hay fever, which is also known as allergic rhinitis, shows up with cold-like symptoms, including a runny nose, congestion, sneezing and itchy eyes. Unlike a cold, hay fever isn’t caused by a virus. Instead, it’s triggered by an allergic reaction to certain allergens such as pollen and grasses, dust mites, pet fur and feathers.

What are the symptoms of hay fever?


The symptoms of hay fever can seem a bit like a cold. They can vary in severity and, for some, can be quite debilitating. They tend to include:


  • A runny or blocked nose
  • Earache
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Itchy throat, mouth, nose, and ears
  • Itchy, red, or watery eyes
  • Loss of smell
  • Sneezing and coughing

"it’s believed that hay fever can be triggered when the immune system is disrupted, for example, by an infection, hormonal changes or by exposure to pollution.”

Hey Fever - Lady sneezing

Can you suddenly develop hay fever?


You might assume that hay fever, like other allergies, is something you’re simply born with. But hay fever can develop at any time in your life. People who have never previously suffered with hay fever can find over time that they begin to experience seasonal symptoms, triggered by particular allergens.


Why this happens isn’t totally understood, but it’s believed that hay fever can be triggered when the immune system is disrupted, for example, by an infection, hormonal changes or by exposure to pollution.

How can you relieve the symptoms of hay fever?


Hay fever can be extremely uncomfortable and frustrating. While this isn’t a cure, there are plenty of things you can do to help alleviate the symptoms.

To avoid triggering the symptoms when the pollen count is high, try:


  • Buying a vacuum cleaner with a special HEPA filter
  • Changing your clothes after you’ve been outside
  • Keeping windows and doors shut where possible
  • Putting Vaseline around your nostrils to trap pollen
  • Taking antihistamine drops, tablets or nasal sprays to help with the sinus discomfort.
  • Vacuuming and dusting with a damp cloth regularly
  • Wearing wraparound sunglasses to stop pollen getting into your eyes

How can you be sure it’s hay fever, and not another type of allergy?


The symptoms of hay fever can seem like a cold. They can also be confusing when it comes to working out what’s triggered you to feel unwell. You might assume it’s a friend’s pet when it’s actually a particular type of pollen. Or it’s cut grass when it’s actually dust. It can also be the case that certain foods in your diet are causing the symptoms.


Fortunately, it’s possible to get a definitive answer so that you’re able to pinpoint your trigger, making it easier to avoid it, or prepare for it, in the future.

IgE antibody blood testing is a simple yet scientific way to test for reactions to common allergens, all from a small finger prick sample of blood, taken in the comfort of your own home.


Our allergy panel includes a test for reactions to:


  • House dust mites
  • Cat dander
  • Dog dander
  • Egg white
  • Cow’s milk
  • Cod
  • Wheat
  • Peanut
  • Soya bean
  • Grass mix
  • Pollen mix
  • Mould mix

How our home blood testing service works


Our home testing kits make finding out important information about your health and wellbeing easy and convenient.


Simply place your order online or over the phone with our friendly team. A kit will be posted out to you, containing everything you need to take a small blood sample. Then, simply return your sample to us for testing in our accredited laboratory.


Our qualified team will process your sample, testing for reactions to a panel of common allergens to give you a clear picture of your specific reactions.


If you’d prefer a qualified professional to take your blood sample for you, we can arrange a home visit from a qualified phlebotomist.

 

Clear, accurate results


The time it takes to receive your results will depend on the type of test you have chosen. When they are ready, your results will be sent directly to you, via email, within the time specified. If you would prefer to receive a paper copy of your results through the post, that can be arranged for you.


Find out more about our home allergy tests.