Hayfever: Use 'New anti-histamine' to combat allergy says Doctor
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Motorists across the UK have been reminded that driving with hayfever could land them in serious trouble. Being unable to operate a vehicle due to eye irritation, coughing and sneezing could result in a £1,000 fine. The punishment can increase to £2,500 if operating a goods vehicle.
Hayfever seems to be particularly annoying this year, with forecasters blaming it on a “potent” strain.
This is because of the wet and warm weather the UK was blessed with in May, according to the Met Office.
Speaking on the Met Office’s Weather Snap podcast, Yolanda Clewlow said: “In terms of the numbers of pollen grains in the air, what we’re seeing isn’t especially noteworthy compared to what we’ve had in previous years.
“However, the potency of these pollen grains could be more intense this year, and that comes down to the weather we’ve had in spring.
“A warm and wet May, coupled with a relatively warm spring, mean there’s a chance that the pollen that has developed is particularly potent.”
Unfortunately for around a quarter of Brits who are allergic to pollen, forecasters predict “very high” levels of pollen to come in the next few days.
Hayfever can also affect drivers who have now been warned about whopping fines they could be slapped with if they suffer from serious symptoms.
This is because being unable to operate a car due to irritated eyes can be seen as a “failure to have proper control of the vehicle and a full view of the road”.
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Craig Forbes, motoring expert at Peter Vardy, said: “Drivers must take responsibility for assessing their own fitness to drive when experiencing symptoms.
“There are ways to minimise symptoms of hayfever during spring, but if your eyes are extremely watery and you feel unwell, your driving could be impaired and you may wish to consider alternative travel in order to avoid a fine.”
On top of that, motorists could be fined for taking hayfever medication.
According to Quotezone.co.uk, a car insurance comparison company, the Government legislation bans driving while under the influence of drugs.
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The legislation does not distinguish between illicit drugs, prescription medication and over-the-counter medications.
Greg Wilson, founder of Quotezone.co.uk said: “Most people assume that the term ‘drug-driving’ refers to driving while under the influence of illicit narcotics, but the truth is that driving after taking any type of drug, could result in a motoring conviction if the motorist’s driving abilities are impaired.
“While some hayfever medications are non-drowsy, some types do cause drowsiness, and some prescription hay fever tablets in particular carry a ‘do not operate heavy machinery’ warning.
“If a driver fails to obey this warning and gets behind the wheel, they could risk a hefty fine of up to £5,000 as well as points on their licence.”
Mr Forbes also advised drivers to clean their vehicles before setting off as this can help hayfever sufferers combat their allergies.
He said: “It’s important to clean your car regularly throughout the pollen season, so as to get rid of any pollen particles that make their way into the vehicle.
“Use your vacuum and duster to get rid of any pollen dust on your dashboard and seats.
“Doing so will prevent the build-up of pollen inside the car that can worsen your symptoms.”
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