Summer, in all its glory, might be reappearing for many of us this week but as well as slapping on sun cream and not overdoing it at our neighbour’s barbecue, we need to talk about pollen.
Yes, we might be starting to see less pollen as August rolls on, but that isn’t a cause for dropping our guard just yet. Hay fever symptoms could make an unceremonious return, largely due to weed pollen allergies.
Weed pollen is stealthy at this time of year; it can stick to your laundry as it dries outdoors. While the sun-dried scent is delightful, the sneezing and itchy eyes, not so much. A simple solution – if you decide to hang your laundry outside, remember to wear sunglasses. They aren’t just a fashion accessory; they can significantly help keep pollen out of your eyes.
But what if, even after taking precautions, the allergies persist? That’s where we recommend popping to see your local pharmacist. You can usually treat these allergies with antihistamine medication readily available at pharmacies and they’ll be able to advise the best one to use. Find your nearest pharmacy.
Pollen and Asthma
A high pollen count and warm weather can aggravate asthma sufferers and it’s a health condition we keep a close eye on at this time of year as a practice.
Asthma is caused by the swelling (inflammation) of the breathing tubes that carry air in and out of the lungs. This makes the tubes highly sensitive, so they temporarily narrow. This narrowing is often amplified by asthma triggers like pollen.
If you’ve been diagnosed with asthma, it’s vital to carry your inhaler and make sure you keep it in cool conditions. Leaving it under direct sunlight, such as on a windowsill or in your car, could render it less effective.
Patients should also familiarise themselves with their asthma triggers and how best to avoid them. This knowledge is a crucial step in ensuring your symptoms remain under control. You can find more information about asthma symptoms, triggers, and treatments on the NHS asthma page.
Should you find yourself struggling to manage your asthma symptoms or you start to spot from the signs of asthma in yourself or a loved one, make an appointment here at the surgery. Asthma is a long-term and, in certain circumstances, a life-threatening condition if left untreated. However, with the right support and mitigation strategy, it’s completely manageable.
In the meantime, let’s appreciate August while we keep ourselves tipped off on ways to cope with pollen and its implications on asthma. Be mindful, prepared, and let’s enjoy the summer with fewer allergies!