There are not many activities more lovely than lazing around outdoors on a scorching summer afternoon.
However, for many of us there is a very unpleasant serpent in the beer garden. Hayfever: apparently existing because nothing in this world can ever be 100 per cent perfect.
Violent itches which make you want to rip your skin apart, volcanic noses and sneezes which can be heard in space. Hayfever is not a good look when you are trying to capture some sunny day pics for the Gram.
Worse still, this pesky breath-sapping mucus-maker is leaving nearly four in ten people unable to do their jobs.
Indeed, research commissioned by Well Pharmacy discovered how 19 per cent of 1,660 hayfever sufferers have called in sick because of their putrid pollen problem.
One third of these field-dodgers admitted to not being dishonest with their boss about their absence, with many believing hayfever wouldn’t be seen as a good enough reason.
Pharmacist Jane Devenish stated:
Hayfever affects up to 30 per cent of adults in the UK and 40 per cent of children, according to Allergy UK.
Symptoms can be severe, including headaches, blocked sinuses, shortness of breath, watering red itchy eyes, and even difficulty hearing, which can have a real impact on quality of life.
Check out more about hayfever below:
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A third of hayfever sufferers said they often felt too worn out to concentrate on their work, while 44 per cent find struggled to stay focused due to constant nose blowing and sneezing.
One fifth admitted increased irritability with co-workers with 15 per cent feeling the need to keep fresh air at bay is hampering their abilities.
Sadly, nearly half agreed those without hayfever lack sympathy for the allergy and the frustrating symptoms which it can trigger. Come on guys, show some love for your sneezier pals.
Horrifyingly, hayfever hell appears to last longer than ever, with nearly a quarter of sufferers reporting symptoms which drag on for six months or more. One third even believe symptoms have hit them earlier than ever over the past few years. Fantastic…
In order to continue with their day to day activities, 85 per cent use antihistamines in an attempt to reign in their symptoms. 44 per cent use a nasal spray while 31 per cent opt for eye drops.
Frustratingly, 84 per cent confess to being dogged by hayfever symptoms even after taking medication.
Only 33 per cent of people surveyed had ever seen a pharmacist for treatment.
I would urge the 84 per cent who still experience symptoms, despite their treatment, to pop in to see their local pharmacist for a consultation about the best treatments to help them manage their symptoms better.
As well as for advice on practical tips about how to minimise symptoms, such as washing hands frequently, keeping doors and windows closed when pollen counts are high, and avoiding alcohol.
This research was commissioned ahead of Allergy Awareness Week which will occur from 23 to 29 April. Happy snot week fellow grass sneezers. May your days be as bright as your swollen, crusted eyes.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.