A nationwide survey of over 2000 people found that a quarter of hay fever sufferers felt they were unable to blow their nose properly when in public. However, Dr Adrian Morris, a specialist in allergy and respiratory medicine at London’s Royal Brompton Hospital, explains “the only way to remove the irritant is by blowing into a tissue, thereby expelling the substance from your body.”
Over half of respondents to the Kleenex® study cited sniffing as a common problem during the hay fever season. The region most likely to sniff is London, particularly the 18-24 year olds in this area. Dr Morris’s advice on sniffing, however, might make them think twice before deciding not to blow: “the act of sniffing causes the irritant (pollen) to remain in the nasal passages, so the associated symptoms will not be alleviated”. Therefore the sniffers among us are only prolonging the suffering, and medical advice is to let it out by having a good nose blow into a tissue.
Tissues proved to be another interesting topic. Despite being cited as the most important item to hay fever sufferers, they were also the most likely to be forgotten, with a third of Londoners forgetting to take tissues with them. Yet remembering tissues could solve many problems experienced by sufferers; while over one in three people felt that sniffing in public might annoy those around them, a quarter felt forced to sniff due to the fact that they didn’t have a tissue to hand. Given that sneezing is the No. 1 hayfever symptom, experienced by 75% of people, it’s even more surprising that people often forget to carry tissues with them.
The Kleenex® survey also found that 18-24’s are the most considerate when it comes to thinking about how their symptoms might affect other people. Over 50% admitted to being conscious that their sniffing might annoy others, compared with only one in four of the over 55’s.
|% suffer from hay fever||% embarrassed by hay fever symptoms||% embarrassed to blow their nose in public||% suffer from sniffing during hay fever season||% forget to carry tissues around when out||% sniff to prevent blowing their nose|
|Rest of South||44||20||20||54||34||27|
|Midlands and Wales||45||25||26||56||37||26|