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Do I have hay fever?

Do I have hay fever?

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I don’t have hay fever. At least that’s what I thought until I hit my late 30s. That’s when I started picking up these strange summer colds that would set my eyes watering and my head banging. 

I found it hard to concentrate and driving became impossible when I was feeling at my worst.

My irritated eye balls got so bad that I developed bumps under my lids. These rubbed on my contact lenses making it impossible for me to wear them. 

So back to glasses I went. I’ve never been able to find a style I’m happy with, so I felt very self-conscious for a few months. 

Eventually the irritation eased and I forgot all about it.

But a year later the same symptoms came around. It was then that I started to wonder: do I have hay fever?

Hay fever symptoms

Claire wearing glasses during bike ride

Allergies are something I’ve always thought you had from childhood and maybe grew out of later on. Tin Box Baby had eczema when she was tiny. Over time that has eased to sensitive skin with very few flare ups.

However, it has been found the one in five people will develop an allergy over the age of 20.

I should have considered the possibility I had hay fever a lot earlier. Mr Tin Box has suffered with it since he was young and Tin Box Tot has followed suit. Their fog horn-like sneezes signal the start of the grass pollen season. 

I couldn’t claim to have the same prowess in the sneeze department, but I was experiencing a lot of hay fever symptoms like:

  • sneezing and coughing
  • a runny or blocked nose
  • itchy, red or watery eyes
  • itchy throat, mouth, nose and ears
  • loss of smell
  • pain around your temples and forehead
  • headache
  • earache
  • feeling tired.
Wilton Farm campsite

As a family of campers and caravanners who love being outdoors, it was a bit of an inconvenience.

The peak time for hay fever is between late March and September – basically the whole of the camping season. Typical! 

Of course there are different kinds of pollen and they affect people in different ways. Being able to distinguish between the ones that affect you and the time of year they are most likely to strike means you can manage your symptoms better.

Getting a home allergy test can be the first step to understanding how hay fever or other allergies are affecting you

Managing hay fever 

I’ve been able to manage my hay fever symptoms with anti-histamine tablets and by changing my monthly contact lenses to daily ones to avoid the build up of pollen in my eyes.

Of course, there are some days when staying inside is the only option.

I know hay fever can be much more severe than I’ve experienced. So, if it is impacting on your day-to-day life speak to your GP.

As someone who developed hay fever as an adult, I know that my allergy may change. A different approach might be necessary in the future. 

And when all else fails, maybe that’s the time to find some glasses that really suit me?

Disclosure: this is an advertorial feature written with Klarify.

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I don't have hay fever. At least that's what I thought! Here's how I have managed my symptoms after developing hay fever in my late 30s

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