Around 18 million Britons suffer from hay fever each year – and a great many of them are also motorists.
But driving and hay fever don’t mix well – such is the suddenness and ferocity of some attacks.
Here we offer some useful tips for minimising the impact of hay fever while behind the wheel.
- Clean your car thoroughly and regularly, vacuuming carpets and upholstery. Wipe dust off all surfaces in an effort to reduce the presence of pollen as much as possible.
- Does your car have a pollen filter? If it does and it is an older car, this may need replacing.
- When driving keep all windows closed and set your air-con to ‘recycle’. This should reduce concentrations of pollen.
- If you take medication for your hay fever, ensure it is non-drowsy. Ask your chemist for advice on the best non-drowsy antihistamines.
- Dab Vaseline under your nose to capture pollen particles.
- Keep tissues near you at all times.
- About to have a sneezing fit? It’s a good idea to pull over somewhere safe and sneeze it out. If you feel a big sneeze coming and you do stay on the road, be sure to slow down and leave plenty of space in front of you – also taking care to keep your distance from any traffic to the rear.
- You may benefit from wearing sunglasses – but make sure they are not so dark as to make seeing the road ahead more difficult.
- If you think that your hay fever makes it unsafe for you to drive, choose an alternative mode of transport, or postpone your trip altogether.