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Handling Hay Fever On Holidays

By: Ian Murnaghan BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 25 Dec 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Handling Hay Fever Holidays Handle

For most of us holidays are anticipated events that we look forward to, whether they involve relaxing on a beach, hiking on the mountains or simply enjoying a yearly holiday event at home. For those who suffer from hay fever, however, holidays can be dampened by painful symptoms such as sneezing, itching and nasal congestion. For others, they may find that hay fever symptoms only occur on holiday, due to the high pollen counts and season for that particular geographic area.

Medications
Given the time constraints and costs involved to plan a holiday, prevention is a lot more difficult than it would be on a day-to-day basis at home. Avoiding the outdoors on high pollen count days is simply not realistic. As such, medications will be important and it's important that you take any hay fever medications with you on your trip. Depending on the specific airline regulations, it's best to pack medications in your carry on luggage in the event that your checked luggage doesn't arrive when you do. In addition, hay fever medications can vary greatly from one country to another, which means it's wise to have reliable and familiar medications in your luggage. Furthermore, the accessibility aspect is also important to keep in mind so it's generally best to bring any required medications with you on board.

Simple and Realistic Prevention
While avoiding the outdoors isn't realistic, you can still take some simple and unobtrusive measures to reduce your exposure to allergens such as pollen. If you're in a rental car, keep the windows closed and use the air conditioning. The same is true for your accommodations. Keep windows closed, especially during early mornings and evenings when the pollen count is higher. To remain cool, keep your air conditioning on when you're inside. Also, wash hair regularly because pollen can cling to hair and may trigger symptoms, which could then continue through the night.

T'is the Season for Hay Fever
Some people actually find that perennial rhinitis (also referred to as year-round hay fever) flares up over the Christmas holidays. Perennial rhinitis tends to be triggered by dust and other indoor allergens. The mould that can grow on a Christmas tree, particularly if it's misted regularly with water, can leave you sneezing and suffering from irritated eyes and congested nasal passages. The enormous amounts of dust that may coat tree decorations that have been packed away for a year are another culprit for triggering perennial rhinitis. If you are sensitive to allergies at this time of year, try to get another family member to tend to the tree. You can also use boxes with snap-down lids to reduce the dust that gathers on decorations. Because pollen counts aren't usually an issue during the winter, open windows can also help to air out the room as you're unpacking decorations and setting up the tree.

Vacation During Hay Fever Season
Some medical professionals will actually recommend that you take a vacation to a hay fever free zone during your local, peak hay fever season. For many people, this can make an enormous difference in managing their hay fever. Not only do they reduce or possibly remove exposure to the allergen but they enjoy a relaxing vacation and take a break from their usual routine.

Hay fever doesn't have to spoil your holidays. Easy, preventative tips and regular treatment with medications where needed can keep your hay fever symptoms at a minimum. In fact, why not consider taking a vacation to an area where pollen isn't an issue? This will allow you to relieve your painful symptoms during the spring and summer months. If your symptoms flare up at Christmas time, you can try out the various tips to reduce your discomfort and enjoy your holidays. Ultimately, your proactive measures to prevent and treat hay fever can let you focus on relaxing and enjoying your holiday time.

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