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One in five hay fever sufferers feel lack of sympathy for symptoms

One in four hay fever sufferers have been accused of “making it up” – by those who don’t experience symptoms. A poll of 1,500 adults, who have the seasonal allergy, found 19 percent believe those who don’t have it are unsympathetic to their ailments.

In fact, 70 percent of sufferers dread the impact of hay fever, with 29 percent taking days off work because symptoms have been so bad.

And 29 percent have also had to ditch plans with friends and family, while 16 percent have even had to cancel a date because of their hay fever.

Of the parents polled, 52 percent have taken their kids out of school because of a flare-up.

But despite this, 79 percent claim those who are fortunate enough not to have experienced the allergy don’t think it’s a good enough reason to not show up to something.

Dr Roger Henderson, GP and spokesman for Olbas, which commissioned the research, said: “People who don’t suffer from allergies often think the effects aren’t very serious.

“But our research shows just what a massive impact it is having on their lifestyles – and also the inquisition they have to face as a result of missing out.

“As hay fever is most commonly at its worst in the spring and summer – which are times when social engagements tend to increase – many are unfortunately left with tough decisions to make.

“A simple nasal spray or decongestant can help relieve a blocked nose and reduce the impact of headaches and sinus issues, allowing you to enjoy your summer social life by day, and sleep better at night.”

The survey also found 60 percent of hay fever sufferers are contending with severe symptoms.

The most common of these are itchy, red, or watery eyes (68 percent), followed by a blocked nose (67 percent), and frequent sneezing (66 percent).

And many are also having to overcome some of the lesser-known impacts of hay fever – such as the loss of their sense of smell (22 percent), facial pain (19 percent), and earache (18 percent).

But 71 percent believe there are several misconceptions associated with hay fever, with 27 percent believing the range of symptoms it can cause leads to the most confusion.

And 19 percent believe there are misunderstandings around what actually causes it to flare up.

Unfortunately, 62 percent are then left annoyed as they try to correct these common misconceptions.

The research, conducted via OnePoll, found 77 percent have made attempts to minimise the impact of hay fever.

Of these, 76 percent take antihistamines to help combat it, and 47 percent resort to simply staying indoors when the pollen count is high.

But, of those who do venture out, 35 percent will take a shower and change their clothes as soon as they arrive home.

And 75 percent are taking precautions in anticipation for the arrival of hay fever season – such as closing windows at night (45 percent), and vacuuming their home more frequently (36 percent).

But for 85 percent, they feel they have just had to learn to live with their hay fever symptoms when they flare up.

Claire Campbell, from the decongestant brand Olbas, added: “It’s fascinating to learn so many believe there is significant confusion surrounding hay fever.

“But with the allergy having such a wide range of impacts for many of those who are suffering from it, you can start to understand why.”

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