Belfast Telegraph

Monday 29 December 2014

Drinking makes hay fever even worse

It's the summer scourge of thousands of sneezing people, and now you can't even console yourself with a drink.

New research into hay fever has found that alcohol consumption increases the risk of the sniffling, sneezing pollen allergy that has ruined countless holiday seasons for Irish sufferers. And as if the condition itself wasn't bad enough, scientists have now told anyone struggling to cope with perennial allergic rhinitis -- a year-long condition which regularly leads to the development of hay fever -- to stay away from pubs and beer if they want to prevent a dose of the summer sickness.



According to the research, published in the latest issue of medical journal Clinical and Experimental Allergy and based on the experiences of almost 6,000 allergic sufferers, drinking just a single pint can increase the likelihood of an allergic rhinitis attack by almost 3pc.



Those involved in the scientific study who drank more than 14 alcoholic drinks in a single week were 78pc more likely to develop the allergy and other allergic rhinitis conditions, the research findings have revealed.



And as a result, the experts say that there is now irrefutable evidence that alcohol consumption and the irritating hay fever conditions are clearly linked.



Allergic rhinitis is an upper respiratory disorder, with those who are affected by the condition suffering with hay fever-like symptoms all year round.



The new research by a team of Danish experts has found that of 5,870 women involved in the study, the risk of perennial allergic rhinitis increased 3pc for every additional alcoholic drink per week. The women studied, aged 20-29, did not have seasonal or perennial allergic rhinitis at the start of the study.



But after almost a decade of research, 831 of them had developed seasonal hay fever while a further 523 had developed the year-long condition. Women who reported consuming over 14 alcoholic drinks a week were 78pc more likely to develop the perennial condition.

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