For many people out there summer is the best season of the year. It is the time when the sun is finally out and a natural tan might be achieved. However, for the 15 to 20% of the population that suffer from hay fever, summer is far from being a breeze. Hay fever is an allergic reaction to pollen, it can be various types and not everyone is necessarily affected by all of them. Regardless, it inevitably leaves you as a pathetic cowering mess. Here are 10 reasons why hay fever truly ruins lives!
1. Blood shot and puffy eyes
My least favourite symptom. Usually during the morning and evening grass pollen is higher, during these times your eyes become a mess. The solution from the GP is wraparound sun glasses. This is a ridiculous un-gayfriendly solution. Wraparound sun glasses aren’t a good look. It also ruins any chance of going for a post work or simply evening drink anywhere outside. If you want to do this it looks like staying indoors is the only option. Even if you settle for indoors, pollen can infiltrate the pub or bar of choice.
2. The runny nose
Another symptom that leaves you a little less attractive than usual is a runny nose. This can only be solved with the equally unattractive handkerchief. This then leaves your nose runny and sore. Again not attractive. They say putting Vaseline on the ridges of your nostrils helps but I’m in no hurry to stick Vaseline up my nose. Yes it may work, but I can’t imagine it being something you want to do in any public place. I don’t want to be known as Lubey Nose Guy.
3. You can’t escape air
With other allergies you can sometimes avoid what causes the problem. With nuts you simply don’t use or eat products that contain even a trace of them. With a lactose intolerance, dairy is simply avoided. However, when it comes to hay fever it is simply impossible to avoid pollen. Unless you work in some form of astronaut suit then this is not going to happen. Pollen is in the air we breathe and you cannot escape that.
4. Goodbye sun bathing
This isn’t missed out on entirely, but laying there in the sun with a runny nose, itching eyes and sneezing every 5 seconds simply isn’t that enjoyable. It’s not the OC dream we all aspire to. For those who don’t suffer from hay fever they only have to worry about whether they are starting to burn or whether the tan you are achieving is an even one; no one wants a t-shirt tan all summer. However, if you’re like me then hay fever and fair skin constantly plague the summer. Woe all round.
5. Paying to stay snot free
For those unlucky enough to suffering from this allergy the price of antihistamine doesn’t always come cheap. At varying prices for the different types that are available, it is simply a nightmare. For 3-4 months, sometimes even longer, money must be spent on whichever tablet helps best, money which could be better spent on shorts, alcohol and holidays. For the majority, the antihistamines hardly block your hay fever and simply dilute the symptoms with a faint sense of pilled up delirium.
6. The ‘I now have hay fever’ claimants
It may seem like you have hay fever but many people who attract the common cold start to believe that they now suffer from hay fever. This is not the case, the common cold is a virus and hay fever is your body reacting to something that isn’t actually a threat. So don’t be too quick to claim your membership to our pathetic club. We are exclusive. It is possible to suffer from hay fever later on in life but the symptoms for a cold and this dreaded allergy aren’t the same.
7. Hay fever advice is useless
The tips on how to prevent hay fever are rather ridiculous. Don’t hang the washing out at certain times, don’t sit outside in the evening, keep all windows and doors shut during certain times. Firstly these are fairly obvious things, as veteran sufferers we know the basics. Secondly, these tips are just a little silly, we all have lives we need to get on with, so please give tips that might be helpful and actually rid us of hay fever.
Antihistamines have a habit of making you incredibly sleepy. If you’re suffering from hay fever more than usual one day taking an extra tablet often results in you being ready for your bed at a time that simply isn’t acceptable unless you’re prepubescent. With lighter nights everyone else is taking advantage of staying out late. Hay fever makes this far less enjoyable.
9. Goodbye picnics in the park
This doesn’t necessarily have to be a picnic, but any activity you would want to do in a park is pretty much out of the window for hay fever sufferers. Some of us can survive a bit of grass pollen but others, myself included, end up with a rash on their body from laying on the grass. And with picnicking in the park goes men-watching, usually attractive playing sport in the sun. That’s another summer activity out of the window!
10. Scaring children on the bus
With hay fever comes sneezing. I’ve heard a vast range of sneezes this summer but for me and many others are sneeze sounds like a monster from another world. This has been known to scare many a child, be heard from other rooms in the house, and gathered many a dirty look. Don’t worry fellow peasant wagon users it’s only hay fever, you won’t catch anything.
For me these are 10 reasons why hay fever ruins lives. It is an allergy that can never really be escaped, never kill you, but revels in ruining every social occasion when we actually get decent weather in this country. I’m sure there are many more things hay fever ruins. This form of a heat wave we are currently experiencing it is safe to say it will be ruined for us. Antihistamines at the ready!