Friday, 17 April 2015

Allergy Awareness Week: How hay fever affects the nation

To mark Allergy Awareness Week, which starts on Monday, Allergy UK endorsed Prevalin Allergy has conducted research into the true impact of hay fever

A quarter of people say hay fever triggers unnecessary stress, more than 15% say that it has made them feel depressed and a further 15% admit to feeling ugly and unattractive when symptoms flare up. Despite these startling complaints, hay fever is still the butt of many jokes in the office and home, with nearly a third of people saying non-sufferers generally find it amusing, make jokes or patronise them when they are struggling with symptoms
"I've seen patients who feel they cannot attend job interviews thanks to their red nose and constantly streaming eyes, which make it impossible to look presentable – especially if you wear makeup," says GP Rosemary Leonard.

While hay fever historically has mostly affected teenagers and young adults, increasing numbers of older people and children are diagnosed today. In the UK, the condition affects approximately 10% of under 8s and 15% of people in their early teens. The apparent increase in the number of first time later-life sufferers is thought to be attributable to rising pollution levels, as noxious gases and pollutants bind to pollen, which increase its ability to irritate the nasal cavity. Furthermore, because pollution levels are higher generally, lung tissue is more susceptible to being irritated than ever before.

"Hay fever can be incredibly debilitating when treated incorrectly, that's why it's so important for people to find a treatment that works well for them," says pharmacist Roger Humbles. "Thankfully, there are fantastic products available out there that mean that people don't have to suffer."

This Allergy Awareness Week, make sure you're well equipped to take the fight to hay fever!


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