Looking forward to summer? Unfortunately not all of us are.
Hay fever is a common problem in the UK. According to statistics from the BBC, there are about 9 million people in Britain who currently struggle to cope with the effects of ‘Hay Fever’. It’s an allergic reaction to pollen in the air. Tracking down the type of pollen a person is allergic to can be tricky. You can narrow it down with the time of year and the circumstances. For example:
Early Spring is the time for tree pollens (e.g. oak, ash, silver birch)
May to August is the time for grass pollens (e.g. meadow grass, cocksfoot, rye)
Late summer into early autumn is the time for weed pollen (e.g. dock, nettle, mugwort)
According to the Met Office hayfever calendar, a May-August reaction is likely a grass allergy. The best way to fix the problem is to avoid grassed areas – get someone else to mow and never lie down on a lawn. They also suggest using the water sprinkler to dampen down the pollen before you sit in the garden. Another interesting tip is to dampen down the fur of any pets who have been playing on the grass. (As they may well have picked up pollen in their coats).
There’s another option – skip the tablets and the mowing, and beat hay fever by choosing an artificial lawn. In Britain we always like to think it will be a good summer with balmy evenings. Where you can sit outside, enjoy the fresh air, and a BBQ with friends and family. With artificial grass in your garden, anyone with a grass allergy should be more than happy to come to the party!
It can be hard to tell whether your pet is being affected by the heat or the pollen.
According to the Met Office, the main symptoms of hay fever are weeping or inflamed/red eyes. Overzealous grooming and scratching is another key sign.
If your pet is prone to allergies you have a few options. Most dogs won’t mind being hosed down (although it’s best to avoid wetting your cat). You can wipe your pet’s paws and coat with grooming wipes, or use a specialist brush. Make sure you groom them very regularly and keep long haired pets trimmed for their comfort. Make sure to sweep outside runs and wash bedding. Finally, you can consult your vet for allergy tablets.