Daydream hay fever

The misery of hay fever can ruin the summer for sneezy sufferers. With some over-the-counter allergy relief drugs causing drowsiness and dizziness hay fever victims are putting themselves at risk by driving whilst dosed up.
According to surveys carried out by MORE TH>N and One Poll some 2.9 million drivers will be taking to the road in a daydream after taking medication which can cause drowsiness. With the Met Office claiming that this summer's pollen count is set to be one of the highest ever recorded, the increase in hay fever sufferers seeking medication is set to rise even further.

Sneezy Rider

The misery of watery eyes, runny nose, sore throats and uncontrollable sneezing can range from a mild annoyance to a debilitating affliction which is why 87% of us habitually turn to antihistamine-based drugs to counteract the symptoms caused by pollen allergy. What's more, over 3.5 million (63%) motorists admit to having had a small prang or near miss at some stage  as a result of "dosed-up driving". It seems as if we have a startling lack of responsibility when it comes to regular medication too, as 66% of drivers admitted they don't always read the label before buying medication to combat their hay fever and thus have no idea of the potential side-affects.

Non-drowsy driving

Commenting on the research, [former] Managing Director at MORE TH>N, Janet Connor, said: “The symptoms of acute hay fever are not only unpleasant but can be dangerous too, being the root cause of road accidents all over Britain. “Fits of sneezing brought on by hay fever can be controlled by taking medication, but it has to be the right, non-drowsy form. With a spell of warm weather just around the corner British drivers that suffer from hay fever need to start putting in place the correct measures to ensure both their safety and the safety of others when on the road.”
  • If you are suffering from hay fever and haven’t taken appropriate (non-drowsy) medication to combat it – do not drive;
  • Always read the label when shopping for anti-hay fever medication – side effects can last for up to 12 hours; and
  • Be particularly wary of those hay fever drugs containing chlorphenamine – it’s notorious for inducing drowsiness.
(Originally posted on 25/05/2012)

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