Millions of motorists suffering from hay fever have been warned to take extra care on the road. Hay fever symptoms can affect how motorists drive and control a car. Sneezing, running nose, itchy eyes can all be distracting when driving as well as the feeling of fatigue. As a way to counteract the effects of hay fever, motorists will be taking medication such as antihistamines which can work to reduce the impact. While they can be effective to reduce symptoms, drivers must be cautious of taking them before getting behind the wheel of a car.
Certain antihistamines can be dangerous and land you a huge fine for drug driving.
According to information on the NHS website, older antihistamines, such as chlorphenamine, hydroxyzine and promethazine, can make you feel sleepy.
Newer, non-drowsy antihistamines that are less likely to make you feel sleepy – such as cetirizine, loratadine and fexofenadine.
Motorists could land a drug driving charge which can result in a fine of up to £5,000, driving ban, penalty points and even a prison sentence.
Halfords has stated that the air conditioning unit of a car could be used as an effective primary defence against hay fever.
Aaron Edwards from Halfords Autocentres said: “A properly maintained air conditioning system is a vital first line of defence for hay fever sufferers and can help alleviate the symptoms of hay fever.
“Air con units can often be ignored from one summer to the next, but will be at their most efficient if properly maintained and the pollen filter is changed regularly.
“Pollen filters work to remove pollen particles from the outside air before they’re passed into the car’s cabin.
“At Halfords Autocentres we’ve tested and serviced more than 40,000 air-conditioning systems over the past year.
“We offer a thorough and detailed inspection which looks at the system’s key components and could significantly reduce the misery of millions of sufferers.
“The benefits of keeping your system serviced regularly are not to be sniffed at.”
When changed regularly, pollen filters ensure you have a more comfortable journey.
“Usually located in the engine compartment or cabin, a pollen filter is a mechanically driven sieve with an electrostatic paper filter that attracts dust and plant particles such as pollen and fungus, as well as chemical pollution in the air.
Without sufficient filtration, the air in your car could carry high levels of pollutants and allergens, which can affect your health.
Taking preventative steps such as keeping car windows closed and using air conditioning to remain cool, in conjunction with nasal sprays and eye drops and can also make a big difference.
Halfords retail shops offer all motorists a free air con check and a complete air conditioning service costs from £39.99, while an anti-bacterial clean costs just £20.
Repairing a car’s air conditioning unit which is damaged could cost you hundreds of pounds.
Halfords Autocentres tips for hay fever sufferers include:
- Service your air conditioning system regularly and change your pollen filter every two years, or potentially once a year in more built up and polluted areas
- Wear wraparound sunglasses to stop pollen grains reaching the eye
- Start taking your hay fever remedies before the pollen starts to appear
- Avoid tree pollen by not parking under trees
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