ST JOHN AM­BU­LANCE How to deal with hayfever

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THE Manch­ester Weekly News has teamed up with St John Am­bu­lance, the na­tion’s lead­ing first aid charity, to bring you some sim­ple, but life sav­ing, first aid tips

This week: deal­ing with hay fever. Hay fever is a com­mon al­ler­gic re­ac­tion trig­gered by pollen, and re­sults in symp­toms such as sneez­ing, a runny nose and itchy eyes.

It usu­ally be­gins in child­hood, with boys be­ing more sus­cep­ti­ble than girls at this age, but can hap­pen at any stage of life.

Un­for­tu­nately, there is no cure for hay fever but there are things that you can do to re­duce the symp­toms: l Stay in­doors and keep win­dows and doors shut. lAvoid cut grass. l Wear wrap-around sun­glasses to stop pollen get­ting in your eyes. l Take a shower and change your clothes when you get home – this can also help by re­mov­ing the pollen from your body. l Vac­uum reg­u­larly, ide­ally us­ing a ma­chine with a HEPA (high­ef­fi­ciency par­ti­cle ar­rest­ing) fil­ter. l Damp dust reg­u­larly. Dust­ing with a wet cloth will col­lect the dust and stop any pollen from be­ing spread around. l Don’t smoke or let other peo­ple smoke in your house. Smoke will ir­ri­tate the lin­ing of your nose, eyes, throat and air­ways, and could make your symp­toms worse. l Don’t dry your clothes out­side. This will help pre­vent bring­ing pollen into your home.

Symp­toms can be treated with over-the­counter med­i­ca­tions, such as an­ti­his­tamines.

If these fail to im­prove your symp­toms, you can visit your GP who may pre­scribe you with steroid med­i­ca­tion called cor­ti­cos­teroids.

For those look­ing for quick, eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble first aid in­for­ma­tion, the St John Am­bu­lance app is avail­able free on smart­phones and the web­site (www.sja.org.uk) of­fers demo videos, an in­ter­ac­tive game, and lots of free ad­vice.

For more in­for­ma­tion about first aid cour­ses please call 0844 770 4800. l

Hayfever symp­toms in­clude sneez­ing, a runny nose and itchy eyes

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