Dr Jack A T Edmonds MB BS FRCGP

Private General Practitioner

Your Health in Our Hands

120 Harley Street
London
W1G 7JW

Phone: 020 7935 5050
Fax: 020 7935 3888
Email: enquiry@drjackedmonds.co.uk

ALLERGY SEASON

Alas for those who do suffer the season is under way and will cause misery for the many hayfever sufferers which is estimated to affect 1 in 4 people in the UK.  What can you do in preparation and perhaps prevention or, at the very least, keep the suffering to a minimum?   In the 1960s around 8% of the UK population suffered compared to around 25-30% nowadays.    That’s  a substantial increase.   When an allergic reaction happens the body makes antibodies in response to pollen created by grass, trees, spores or weeds which in turn makes a chemical called histamine in the nose, eyes and airways which results in inflammation and irritation.  

It is suggested that it is important to start taking long acting (one a day antihistamines every day for at least 2 weeks prior to your pollen season beginning.   There are other useful tips to ease the symptoms and they are: avoid going outdoors early morning and evening when pollen counts are at their highest; wear wrap-around sunglasses; keep house and car windows closed;  avoid drying washing outside; try applying Vaseline to the rim of each nostril to act as a barrier to the pollen and if you have a pet do not let them get too close to your face as pollen trapped in their fur may affect you.

The highest incidence of allergies (approx. 50-80% of cases) are attributed to grass pollen between late May and end July followed by trees over a peak period between February to mid July and for weeds between June-early August.  Drinking water may help to wash the pollen through the system and using local honey may assist with easing symptoms except if you are allergic to grass.  If you are interested in knowing the levels of pollen in your area try searching ‘pollen forecast’ at metoffice.gov.uk for a five day indicator. 

News - BBC Health