The seasonal allergy hay fever plays havoc with one in four Brits every summer.
The much-dreaded problem can be particularly troublesome for pregnant women and four-time Olympic champion Laura Kenny is no exception.
“I’ve had hay fever for as long as I can remember, and now I'm pregnant, my symptoms seem to have started earlier and to be much worse,” she said.
“As a cyclist, I still want to be riding, and spending lots of time outside – I want to try and carry on my normal routine and enjoy being pregnant without hay fever holding me back.
“But of course, like all mums-to-be I want to do the very best for my baby, so I’m confused about how I can manage my symptoms.”
As a mother herself, Boots pharmacist Angela Chalmers is helping expectant mums with tailored expert tips and treatment options for hay fever symptoms.
“I’ve been pregnant during the summer, and it’s a wonderful time of year to be expecting,” Angela said.
“However I know first-hand how irritating it is not to be able to take the sprays, tablets or drops you previously used to manage your symptoms.
“Even though the range of medicines you can take is limited, there are other steps you can take, so speak to your pharmacist about how you can reduce the impact of hay fever.”
Angela revealed her top tips to expecting mums.
1. Keep clean
Shower before bedtime to help wash any stray pollen from your hair and skin. This could keep you up sneezing in the night.
2. Keep petroleum jelly handy
Apply a little smear of petroleum jelly or a nasal barrier balm under your nose when you’re out and about, as it may trap some of the pollen.
3. Try different sunglasses
Make wraparound sunglasses your go-to summer style as they can help prevent pollen entering your eyes.
4. Switch to waterproof mascara
Opt for a waterproof mascara so whether hormones are playing havoc with your hay fever or your emotions, you avoid panda eyes.
5. Keep windows shut
It’s tempting to let the fresh air in as the weather warms up, but keep your windows closed in the morning and evening when pollen counts are the highest.
6. Don’t hang washing outside
Dry your clothes and bed sheets inside to help prevent pollen sticking to fabrics.
7. Keep in urban areas
Pollen is concentrated in open grassy spaces so stick to the streets where you can.
8. Always have panty liners with you
And finally, consider wearing a panty liner. When you’re pregnant it can be more difficult to control your bladder when you sneeze.
Photo credit: REX/Shutterstock