Seasonal allergies: everything you need to know

Sneezing, scratching, snuffling and sleepiness are all common signs of hay fever or eczema. These symptom soothers will help see you through
Ross Tek/Unsplash

1 in 5… people with hay fever have taken time off due to their allergy. Sound like you?


• Wear wraparound sunglasses to protect your eyes from pollen.

Try HayMax Pure Organic Drug-Free Allergen Barrier Balm around your nostrils to help trap pollen.

• Shower after you’ve been outside.


• Dry your washing outside, as pollen will land on it.

• Have fresh flowers in the home – they often contain pollen (boo).

• Smoke: it makes symptoms worse.


Did you know?

Allergic rhinitis (aka hay fever) has trebled in the past 20 years? It’s thought that this could be linked to increased air pollution in towns and cities. For outdoor tasks, such as gardening, you might benefit from wearing a mask – which we’re sure you already own plenty of!


French Bulldog

True or false?
‘Pets can make hay fever worse’

True – your floofs are bad news, as their fur can bring in airborne allergens. Keep them out of your bedroom and off soft furnishings to ease symptoms.


Top Tip

Invest in a pollen filter for the air vents in your car, and look for a vacuum cleaner that features a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter.


Top-to-toe hay fever heroes

Boots Hay Fever & Allergy Relief 10mg Tablets Exclusive. Contains cetirizine. Always read the label.

• Consider Sterimar Hayfever & Allergy Relief Isotonic Solution for runny-nose relief.

• Keep these super-soft and absorbent Kleenex Allergy Comfort Tissues in your handbag.

• Spritz Murine Natural Relief For Allergies Eye Mist onto closed eyes to keep hay fever irritation at bay.

The Eye Doctor Allergy Cooling & Soothing Hay Fever Eye Compress helps ease itchy eyes.


shadow of flower on arm

Why do I sometimes get eczema when I’ve also got hay fever?

Atopic eczema often occurs in people who get allergies (‘atopic’ means sensitivity to allergens). It runs in families and usually develops alongside other conditions such as, yes, hay fever. Atopic eczema also has triggers, including soaps, stress and cold, damp or dry weather.


Your eczema commandments
  • Thou shalt not spend too long in the bath (10-15 minutes is enough).
  • Thou shalt bathe in warm, rather than hot, water.
  • Thou shalt always use an emollient, to help keep skin moisturised.
  • Thou shalt pat, not rub, skin dry with a soft towel.
  • Thou shalt avoid regular bathing products (shower gel, soap, bubble bath) – they are alkaline and can further dry and irritate the skin.
Good news vs bad news

The good?
Children often ‘grow out of’ the symptoms of atopic eczema.

The bad?
It can return at any time. And, if you had it at an early age, your skin is likely to remain sensitive, even if the eczema doesn’t actually come back.


Top buys for eczema-prone skin

Epaderm Cream is a 2-in-1 emollient and cleanser that smooths and hydrates skin.

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra Moisturiser has a soothing, hypoallergenic formula approved by Allergy UK.

• Itchy skin will love comforting Aveeno Dermexa Daily Emollient Cream.

If you’re concerned about your hay fever or eczema symptoms, you should see your GP.


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Swallowing difficulties, tackled

You might not have heard of ‘dysphagia’ – the medical term for having difficulty swallowing – but it’s way more common than you’d think. In fact, it affects one in nine older people! And unfortunately, it can cause other health issues, too. Think you or a loved one might need help? Check out our dysphagia guide.

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Photography: Alamy, Angelos Michalopoulos/Unsplash, Plain Picture