Tackling Hay fever
After a long winter, the approach of summer is usually welcomed with opened arms. But with sprouting daffodils and warmer nights, pollen and spores in the air rise and this can cause a lot of discomfort to those who suffer from hay fever.
Hay fever is a common type of allergic reaction estimated to affect around 20% of people. The symptoms of hay fever include:
- frequent sneezing, runny or blocked nose
- itchy, red or watery eyes (also known as allergic conjunctivitis)
- an itchy throat, mouth and ears
Less commonly, you may experience:
- the loss of your sense of smell
- facial pain (caused by blocked sinuses
While symptoms of hay fever may be mild, they can interfere with your sleep and your daily activities at school or work. Unfortunately, it is difficult to avoid pollen and spores completely when suffering from allergies, but there are some simple steps you can take to lessen the onset of hay fever symptoms.
- Keep windows and doors closed
By keeping windows closed during the day time when pollen is at its highest, it reduces your exposure and helps keeps your allergies at bay.
- Wear wraparound sunglasses
To prevent eye irritation, wraparound sunglasses can be a great way to stop pollen getting into your eyes when outdoors.
- Keep pets outside and wash them regularly
Pet’s fur can hold pollen, particularly during hay fever season. If you’re suffering from allergies, be sure to wash your pet regularly to minimise symptoms.
- Dry washing inside
If possible, try to dry your laundry inside. This will reduce the risk of pollen getting onto clothes.
- Dust with a damp cloth
To avoid spreading pollen allergens, dust with a damp cloth on a regular basis.
- Avoid smoking
Smoking can increase nose, eye and throat irritation, making the symptoms of hay fever worse.
Here in Life Pharmacy, as hay fever experts we are always able to discuss the many treatments for hay fever and what is best for your symptoms. Prevention and relief can differ for each person and can be a combination of the following treatment options.
Helps with the following symptoms: Itching, sneezing and watery eyes, but they may not help a blocked nose
Antihistamines treat hay fever by blocking the action of the chemical histamine, which the body releases when it thinks it is under attack from an allergen. This helps reduce the symptoms of the allergic reaction from occurring.
Recommended product: Cetrine (Non-drowsy) Piriton (Drowsy – suits children from age 6)
Helps with the following symptom: Watering Eyes
Eye drops are available without a prescription to treat the hay fever symptoms that affect your eyes, such as redness, itchiness and watering (allergic conjunctivitis).
Recommended product: Opticrom
Corticosteroid Nasal Sprays
Helps with the following symptoms: Persistent hay fever, sneezing and blocked nose
Corticosteroids are more effective than antihistamine tablets at preventing & relieving nasal symptoms, including sneezing & congestion. They can also relieve itchy, watery eyes.
They are most effective if you start using them a couple of weeks before your symptoms usually begin, and work best when used regularly.
Recommended product: Flixonase
Helps with the following symptom: Blocked nose
Hay fever can cause a blocked nose. A decongestant, in the form of a nasal spray, can relieve this. Decongestants reduce the swelling of the blood vessels in your nose, which opens your nasal passage and makes breathing easier.
Recommended product: Otrivine Nasal spray
If you are a regular sufferer than early action ahead of symptoms is essential. Speak to your local Life Pharmacy hay fever expert and they will recommend the best treatment solution for you.
Tags: Hay Fever, hayfever, health, preventing hay fever, sinus