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Hay fever warnings are not to be sneezed at; tom belger on how best to avoid those itchy eyes and runny nose.

Byline: tom belger on

XPERTS are warning there is a high risk of hay fever on Merseyside this week, as grass pollen levels soar.

EThis is bad news for anyone who suffers but, with exam season now in full swing, even worse if you have a child or teen sitting tests.

The Met Office predicts the pollen count will rise to"very high" today and tomorrow - the highest possible rating.

Hay fever, which causes sneezing, a runny nose and itchy eyes, affects around one-in-five people of all ages and is caused by an allergy to pollen, a fine powder released by plants.

This time of year sees the highest levels of grass pollen, in particular, the form which affects most hay fever sufferers.

How do you prevent hay fever? You can do a lot of things to cut your risk of hay fever, according to NHS Choices: Shower and change your clothes after being outside to take pollen off your body; Wash your hair every night so pollen doesn't go onto your pillow; Stay indoors when pollen levels are high, with levels worst between 10am and 3pm; Wear wraparound sunglasses to stop pollen Lay off the - beer, wine spirits can allergic getting in your eyes; Put some Vaseline on your nose to trap pollen grains; Lay off the booze - as beer, wine and spirits can set off allergic symptoms; Eat oily fish or meals with garlic to boost your resistance; It's not a good idea to put washing outside to dry if the count is high, as pollen can get trapped in the fibres; Do without fresh flowers in the house and vacuum (ideally using a machine with a HEPA filter) and damp dust regularly.

What if you're driving? It's important to keep car windows closed and you should consider buying a pollen filter for the air vents.

If you're planning a holiday, pollen may be lower on the coast because sea breezes blow it inland.

How do you relieve or cure hay fever? There is no cure for the allergy, but most people can reduce their symptoms.

Antihistamine tablets are a widely available way to cut your risk, and corticosteroids can reduce inflammation and swelling.

booze and set off symptoms But, if your symptoms are very serious, you should seek advice from a GP or pharmacist.

Who is most at risk of hay fever? Many people are at risk, with around 13m people affected in Britain.

Anyone can get it at any age, male or female, though it usually starts as a child or teenager.

You are more likely to get hay fever if you have a family history of allergies, and, during childhood, boys are more at risk than girls.

Lay off the booze - beer, wine and spirits can set off allergic symptoms

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Hay fever causes misery for sufferers of all ages

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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jun 14, 2017
Words:476
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