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Allergic rhinitis is a condition caused by breathing in an allergen, such as dust, mould or animal dander.1 Hayfever is a type of allergic rhinitis specifically caused by an allergy to pollens, which leads to symptoms such as sneezing, watery eyes and watery nasal discharge.2 Hayfever symptoms can interfere with daily activities, especially if they are experienced all year round. Because pollen levels in the air tend to be higher during early morning, this is a particularly troublesome time of day for many hayfever sufferers.3 Fortunately there are steps you can take to minimise hayfever symptoms that occur first thing in the morning.
Firstly, the likelihood of developing hayfever symptoms is affected by how much pollen is in the air. Pollen levels are usually highest on hot, windy days, whereas most of it is washed to the round when it is colder and rainy. Try to stay indoors on high risk mornings or in an air conditioned space if possible. If you enjoy exercising outdoors first thing in the morning, try and swap your usual run or cycle for a workout at the gym or at home during high risk weather.
Keep the windows in your house or car closed, as well and minimise time spent outside in the open air. For example, if you usually stop for coffee or breakfast on your way to work, consider an indoor or drive‐through restaurant rather than an outdoor cafe.
Remember that hayfever symptoms are triggered by the amount of pollen that you breathe in, so always wash your hands and face when coming in from outside. You can also brush your clothes to remove pollen, reducing your level of exposure. Try and avoid drying your clothes outside for the same reason, or put them out later in the morning and bring them in again before evening.3
Finally, for those who find it hard to avoid the outdoors altogether or have ongoing hayfever symptoms, an antihistamine tablet such as Telfast taken first thing in the morning may be helpful in reducing symptoms. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist about the Telfast product best suited for your needs.