During the summer months, air-con in your car is a must if you want to stay comfortable on your
journey. But before you turn up the power to full, consider your seasonal allergies. A poor-performing air
con system can draw pollen, dust and other airborne particles from the outside into the vehicle – and
amplify your allergies in the process.
We’ve gathered some top tips for driving with hayfever during the summer so you can drive
comfortably, even when pollen is at its peak.
1. Keep Your Car Clean
If your car is full of pollen and dust, as soon as you turn up your air-con, the particles will inevitably
circulate and trigger any allergies. Make sure to regularly vacuum carpets, mats and upholstery and
dust surfaces including the windows and dashboard to get rid of any lingering dust and pollen before
you begin your journey.
2. Maintain Your Car's Pollen Filter
Most modern cars have a pollen filter fitted to their air con and ventilation systems. A pollen filter will
stop dust and pollen particles from coming through the air-con vent and straight into your car's cabin,
but if this filter becomes clogged you can still expect pollen and dust to make it through when you use
The cabin filter has a short life span, so it’s worth changing your air filters regularly. The good news is
that you don’t need to take your car to a garage to do this – you can grab replacement filters from
motoring retailers found on the high street and it’s fairly simple to replace them yourself. Bear this in
mind during the summer months to make sure that your air-con isn’t making your hayfever worse.
3. Close Car Windows
If the pollen is outside, don’t invite it in! Keeping your car windows closed is the most effective way of
keeping pollen particles outside of your car. Aside from inviting pollen into the cabin of the car, having
the windows open while driving can mean that pollen can fly directly into your eyes making hayfever
symptoms even worse. If the weather’s warm, rely instead on air-con with a fresh pollen filter to keep
you cool rather than opening the windows.
4. Wear Sunglasses
If your sunglasses are suitable for driving, and the weather conditions are appropriate, wearing
sunglasses can prevent pollen from getting into your eyes as you’re driving. While it’s not completely
foolproof, it does stand to reason that having a barrier such as glasses or sunglasses over your eyes
will stop a good portion of pollen from entering your eyes.
If your standard sunglasses aren’t doing the trick, there are specialist frames designed for hayfever
sufferers that have an additional, discreet clip-on shield to cover pollen entry points from above and
around your eyes.
5. Check Hayfever Medication Carefully
While it may feel logical to dose up on hayfever medication before leaving the house, be aware of the
medical risks. Some antihistamines used in hayfever medication can cause you to become drowsy and
could even cause you to fail the driving drug test in extreme cases. Always check your hayfever
medication to make sure that it doesn’t cause side effects that could impair your ability to drive safely.