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Hay fever hits at night

HealthBy Sunday World
Hay fever hits at night

When the sun's out and the pollen count soars, hay fever sufferers start stocking up on antihistamines and nasal spray to ward off those pesky sneezing fits and streaming eyes. But while you might assume they'll get some respite at night, many continue to suffer at bedtime.

Research by high-street pharmacy Boots suggests that as many as 64 per cent of hay fever sufferers are affected at night time. According to the survey, out of 2,080 sufferers, the average sleep loss was 72 minutes of sleep per night when pollen levels are high.

"Hay fever sufferers may find that their symptoms get worse during the evening," Dr Peter Burt, aerobiologist at the University of Greenwich, explained.

"This is because pollen rises into the lower atmosphere throughout the day and begins to fall back to the ground as the temperature drops, exposing hay fever sufferers to a higher level of pollen in the evening compared with earlier on in the day.

"Higher pollen levels in the evening can also be because some flowers release pollen later in the day."

If you've been suffering at night, make sure you keep windows shut when you sleep. You can also try taking an antihistamine around three hours before you go to bed, as most doses work for 24 hours and will therefore protect you the following day, too.

It's also helpful to keep an eye on the pollen count. On days when it's particularly high, try to spend as much of the day as possible indoors. When you do venture out, arm yourself with a nasal spray and barrier products to ward off pollen.

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