If you suffer from hay fever, this means you have an allergy to tree, grass or plant pollens. Your mucous membranes will become irritated when this pollen comes into contact with your eyes, nose, mouth, throat or trachea. You will usually suffer the most between February and September. That’s because most plants, grasses and trees are in bloom during this period. Hay fever is a common allergy among the Dutch population. Approximately two to five percent suffer from it. The initial symptoms often manifest themselves between the ages of 15 and 25 and you’ll have a greater chance of developing hay fever if one of your parents has it too.
Hay fever can result in the following symptoms:
- Sneezing. This is as a result of the tickle in your nose. You may also have a blocked or runny nose.
- Burning, itchy and watery eyes.
- A dry, sore or burning throat. You may also suffer from a tickly cough.
- A dull, heavy or full feeling in your head.
- A fever.
- Shortness of breath or wheezing.
There are a few different things you can do yourself when you suffer from hay fever:
- Keep your windows closed when the hay fever season arrives. You may suffer the most during the months of May and June.
- Check pollennieuws.nl to find out the pollen levels.
- Wear sunglasses when you go outside.
- Have someone else cut the grass for you.
- Dry your washing indoors. The pollen will settle on your laundry if you dry it outside.
- There’s more pollen on land than at the sea or in the mountains. You can keep this in mind when booking a holiday.
You should contact your GP if:
- You suspect you have hay fever. Your GP can prescribe medication or a nasal spray which will reduce your symptoms.
- The medication and/or nasal spray don’t, or hardly, reduce your symptoms.