Spring has sprung and hay fever sufferers have been urged to wear wrap-around sunglasses and smear their noses with Vaseline to make the season as pain free as possible.

A top expert at St Helier hospital said sufferers should make sure they take medication, do what they can to avoid pollen and gave out some more unusual tips to make sure the period is not unpleasant.

Hayfever is an allergy to pollen and affects one in four people. It's symptoms include frequent sneezing, a runny or blocked nose, and itchy, red or watery eyes.

Joint Medical Director Dr James Marsh said: "From April, as the weather starts to warm up, several different types of pollens begin to increase and that’s when hay fever sufferers begin to see the start of their symptoms.

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"Although for many people the symptoms are mild, they can interfere with your sleep and daily activities at work or school. 

"However, there are a range of treatments that are available from pharmacists to help reduce the effect of pollen, including tablets, liquid, inhalers, nasal sprays and eye drops. There are also several natural and herbal remedies which you can buy over the counter at chemists and supermarkets."

Dr Marsh said measures people with hay fever should take are:
- watch television weather reports to monitor pollen levels
- stay indoors when pollen counts are high
- close windows and doors
- wear wrap-around sunglasses
- dry washing indoors to avoid pollen sticking to it
- avoid cutting grass
- smear a small amount of Vaseline on the inside of your nose to reduce nasal symptoms.
- regularly splash your eyes with water

Dr Marsh said sufferers with asthma should keep an eye on their condition and go to the doctor if they feel it worsening.

Their doctor will be able to adjust asthma medication to help with hay fever symptoms.

For more information, visit www.epsom-sthelier.nhs.uk