Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Tips On Driving When Having The Allergy Symptoms

Recently, there are some articles about allergic rhinitis (hay fever) sufferers driving during the high pollen counts of the allergy season. According to Wall Street Journal, a study in Netherlands showed that allergy symptoms' effect on driving was comparable to having a blood-alcohol concentration nearing impaired levels! This is a rather alarming result.

Here's another one. A survey has revealed that many motorists are unaware that some medications can impair our ability to drive safely. Figures show that one in six (17%) admit either ignoring warnings not to drive or not checking that label at all. This lack of awareness is also shocking. For allergic rhinitis sufferers, there are some antihistamine medication that could cause drowsiness. Older, first-generation antihistamines like piriton (chlorphenamine) cross the blood-brain barrier and inhibit one of the other functions of histamines, thus causing drowsiness. Newer generation of antihistamines are generally fine, but best to check the labels or with a health care professional when in doubt.

So what can you do if you have a bad allergy day but needs to get around? Here are 7 tips:

1. Get a family member to drive if you are heading out together

2. Take public transport.

3. Take non-drowsy antihistamine medication at least an hour prior to driving for the effect to kick in.

4. Inhale some peppermint or eucalyptus essential oil before leaving to clear your stuffy nose. Better yet if you could diffuse it in your car.

5. Bring plenty of tissues with you. Place them at easy to reach places in the car if you are driving.

6. Try to wear something with pockets so that its easier for to store those half-used tissues. (at least that's what I do!)

7. Lastly and most importantly, keep the car windows closed and use the air con if you suffer from pollen allergies.

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