Summer is no joke for hay fever sufferers. Before you stock up on antihistamines, have a chat with your pharmacist – they will be able to advise you on the right combination of products and self-care to combat your hayfever. If your symptoms are so bad that they are interfering with our daily life despite taking antihistamines, see your GP.
Factor in the sun
We all know the drill when it comes to sun protection, yet many of us still get caught out, both abroad and here at home. Sunburn can be extremely unpleasant and can increase your chances of developing serious health problems, such as skin cancer, later in life. Use at least SPF15 suncream, avoid the sun during the hottest part of the day (11am–3pm) and cover up.
Protect your eyes! Remember it’s not just your skin that the sun can damage. A day at the beach without proper eye protection can cause a temporary but painful burn to the surface of the eye, similar to sunburn. Avoid looking directly at the sun, as this can cause permanent eye damage. Wear clothes and sunglasses that provide sun protection, such as:
- a wide-brimmed hat that shades the face, neck and ears
- a long-sleeved top
- trousers or long skirts in close-weave fabrics that do not allow sunlight through
- sunglasses with wraparound lenses or wide arms with the CE Mark and European Standard EN 1836:2005
It’s rare for our weather to get really hot, which is why it can be more dangerous if a heatwave does strike, simply because we’re not used to it. The key risks in hot weather are dehydration, overheating, heat exhaustion and heatstroke, which is a potential killer. The very young, the elderly and the seriously ill are particularly at risk, and hot weather can make heart and breathing problems worse.
Keep cool by wearing loose clothing, having cool baths or showers, and staying in the coolest room in the house. Drink plenty of cold fluids, but avoid alcohol. Check on any vulnerable friends or neighbours, and seek medical help if symptoms such as breathlessness, chest pain, confusion, weakness, dizziness or cramps get worse or don’t go away.