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Hay-fever and driving

April 6, 2020 by in category News with 0 and 0
Home > News > News > Hay-fever and driving
driving with hay-fever

So spring is finally here! The clocks have gone back, the evenings start to get a little bit brighter and it’s the signal that warmer weather (may) be on its way. For some however, spring also signals the increase in pollen counts, and the allergy symptoms that come with it. As plants release pollen, millions around the country who suffer with hay fever will begin to sniffle and sneeze.

Hay-fever

When plants, trees and weeds release pollen into the air to fertilize other plants, these can make their way into our bodies through the nose and for someone who is allergic to pollen, this will trigger the body’s defence system to release antibodies to attack the allergens. This leads to the body releasing histamines, which trigger runny noses, itchy eyes and various other symptoms.

Medication

Antihistamines are over the counter medication used to combat the symptoms of hay fever by reducing the amount of histamine produced by your body.

Impact on driving

Hayfever or the treatment for it may cause issues when driving depending on the extent of the symptoms or the reaction from treatment.

Hayfever can cause:

  • Sneezing;
  • Watery eyes;
  • Itchy throat and nose; and
  • Coughing.

Antihistamines may cause:

  • Drowsiness;
  • Blurred vision;
  • Dizziness;
  • Confusion.

All of the above may impair the ability to drive safely on the road. If you take an antihistamine that causes drowsiness and continue to drive, then you may face criminal charges if your standard of driving falls below that of a careful and competent driver.

In extreme cases, depending on the drug content of any medication, a charge of driving whilst unfit through drugs may even be considered by the police although we are yet to encounter an unfit charge in these circumstances.

If you suffer with hay fever, some tips to avoid any issues on the road include:

  • Read the label – make sure you know the potential side effects;
  • Be strict – do not take more medication than is advised;
  • Car maintenance – making changes such as changing the air conditioning filter can make a massive difference in protecting yourself from pollen.

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