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Hay fever and asthma: Three simple steps to reduce your risk of an asthma attack

Hay fever causes many people to suffer around the globe. There are key symptoms to look out for when diagnosing hay fever but this year many are confusing it with coronavirus. If you also suffer from asthma, you could be at greater risk when exposed to Covid-19 and hay fever.

Asthma is the most common long-term respiratory disease in the uk, which Asthma UK suggests may affect more than five million people.

The main difference between coronavirus and hay fever is that the main symptom of coronavirus is a fever according to the NHS.

Asthma UK are urging everyone who suffers from hay fever to make sure that they start their regular hay fever medication or remedies, so that they reduce the risk of hay fever triggering an asthma attack.

More so, if you have hay fever and contract Covid-19, then you could be more at risk of both of them setting off your asthma symptoms, and Asthma UK are asking everyone with hay fever and asthma to follow steps to avoid this happening.

READ MORE: Coronavirus symptoms: How to tell if it’s NOT hayfever – key signs YOU have the virus

Hay fever and asthma: Three simple steps to reduce your risk of an asthma attack (Image: Getty)

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Make sure to:
• Take asthma medicines as prescribed
• Control your hay fever symptoms with medicines
• Take steps to avoid catching or spreading Covid-19 by staying at home

Many people with asthma and also hay fever may find that their symptoms are triggered and worsen by pollen.

Tree pollen is a common hay fever trigger. It is the first pollen to be released during hay fever season and levels typically are highest from March to May.

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According to Asthma UK around 95 percent of people’s hay fever is triggered by grass pollen, which is usually at its highest between May and July.

There is strong evidence that when grass pollen levels are high, people who suffer with asthma are more likely to need hospital treatment.

Three steps to reduce the risk of hay fever triggering an asthma attack:
• Carry your reliever inhaler (usually blue) for everyday
• Take your preventer inhaler (as prescribed)
• Control hay fever symptoms

If you have asthma, hay fever can cause already inflamed airways to inflame even further.

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Reliever inhalers quickly relax the muscles in your airways and ease symptoms immediately (Image: Getty)

Reliever inhalers quickly relax the muscles in your airways and ease symptoms immediately.

It is very important to carry this type of inhaler with you at all times.

For long-term control of asthma, a GP might prescribe a preventer inhaler.

This reduces sensitivity and swelling in the airways, helping to stop coughing and wheezing.

This should be taken as prescribed to reduce the risk of hay fever triggering asthma symptoms.

If you find yourself experiencing hay fever symptoms, Lloyds Pharmacy recommends trying antihistamine tablets.

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Symptoms include itchy eyes, watery eyes, headaches, shortness of breath and tiredness.

Antihistamines can be purchased over the counter, common brands include Clarityn, Zirtek, Benadryl and Piriteze.

Other medicines can include eye drops and nasal sprays.

While hay fever and asthma are not curable, there are measures to help manage the symptoms.

You can check the latest pollen count here: https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/warnings-and-advice/seasonal-advice/pollen-forecast#?date=2020-04-28

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