WITH pollen counts peaking across the UK, no doubt Brits suffering from hay fever are feeling it.
Grass pollen season is now at its peak in parts of the country, according to the Met office, causing itchy, sneezy misery for many.
Most people are sensitive to the pollen and airborne allergens shed by grass, which reach peak levels in June and July every year.
If you're frequently affected by these seasonal allergies, you probably have a hay fever kit with you at all times, stuffed with antihistamines, wipes, balms and eye drops.
But if your nose is still feeling blocked and runny and your kit just isn't cutting it, a doctor has warned that your drink choices might be getting in the way of your remedies.
Especially if you favour an after-work pint or glass of wine.
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Dr Sameer Nakedar, Chief Medical Officer at Welzo, told the Mirror, that some alcoholic drinks can exacerbate your allergy symptoms.
This is especially the case for wine and beer, he said, as they contain histamine.
"Alcohol can cause blood vessels in the nasal passages to dilate, worsening nasal congestion," he explained.
Dr Nakebar recommended you opt for plenty of water instead, as that can "help thin mucus and alleviate congestion".
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"Warm fluids, like herbal teas or broths, can also provide relief for a stuffy nose and irritated throat," he went on.
If you're also smoking a cheeky cigarette along with your pint, or you're hanging out with a smoker, Dr Nakebar had some more bad news to pass on.
He said exposure to the smoke or polluted air could also heighten your hay fever suffering, as they can irritate your nasal passageways.
The doctor advised you abstain from smoking and limit your exposure to second hand smoke and polluted air.
It come as the Met predicted 'very high' pollen counts for this weekend in parts of the UK, with temperatures also set to spike.
HAY fever is a common allergic condition. It affects up to 1 in 5 people at some point in their life.
You'll experience hay fever symptoms if you have an allergic reaction to pollen.
The symptoms of hay fever include:
- frequent sneezing
- runny or blocked nose
- itchy, red or watery eyes (allergic conjunctivitis)
- an itchy throat, mouth, nose and ears
- cough, caused by postnasal drip (mucus dripping down the throat from the back of the nose)
Less commonly, you may also experience:
- the loss of your sense of smell (anosmia)
- facial pain (caused by blocked sinuses)
- tiredness and fatigue
If you have asthma, your asthma symptoms may get worse when you have hay fever.
Aside from avoiding irritants, there are a number of ways you can ease your hay fever symptoms.
Firstly, try showering and changing your clothes after being outdoors, as pollen gets everywhere, sticking to clothes and affecting you long after you’ve retreated inside.
You can also apply some balm to your nostrils and around your eyes to trap those pollen particles, or apply a cooling eye mask once you get back home to soothe your skin.
To protect your eyes while you're out and about, try wearing some wraparound sunglasses to block out pollen particles.
It's also important to regularly wash your hands when out of the house to remove pollen and avoid rubbing it further into your eyes or nose.
And avoid drying your laundry outside.
Dr Nakebar recommended you vacuum and wash your bedding regularly to reduce the allergens milling about on carpets and floors and linens.
He added: "Allergen avoidance is the primary method for managing allergies, but in some cases, medications, immunotherapy, or lifestyle changes may be necessary. Allergic reactions can change over time, and new allergies can develop.
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"Regular follow-ups with your healthcare provider can help monitor your condition and adjust your treatment plan as needed."
For further tips on preventing hay fever, see the NHS website.
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