Hay fever is a common allergic condition that affects up to one in five people at some point in their life, causing sneezing, runny nose and itchy eyes. It's estimated that there are more than 10 million people with hay fever in England.
Hayfever is caused by an allergic reaction to pollen realised at different times of the year. Tree pollen, released during spring, grass pollen, released during the end of spring and beginning of summer and weed pollen, released late autumn
Many people find their symptoms improve as they get older.
You can get hay fever at any age, although it usually begins in childhood or during the teenage years. It's more common in boys than girls. In adults, men and women are equally affected.
There's currently no cure for hay fever but most people are able to relieve symptoms with treatment which include antihistamines, that can help to prevent an allergic reaction from occurring or steroid eye drops which help to reduce inflammation and swelling.
The most effective way to control hay fever would be to avoid exposure to pollen .It's sometimes possible to prevent the symptoms of hay fever by taking some basic precautions, such as:
wearing wraparound sunglasses to stop pollen getting in your eyes when you're outdoors
taking a shower and changing your clothes after being outdoors to remove the pollen on your body
staying indoors when the pollen count is high (over 50 grains per cubic metre of air)
applying a small amount of Vaseline (petroleum gel) to the nasal openings to trap pollen grains.