Many of us look forward to spring as it is a warmer, brighter time of year. Unfortunately, for a large number of us spring also signals the start of the dreaded hay fever season. The key to dealing with hay fever effectively is to understand it – learn what to expect and how to treat your hay fever allergy in the best way.
What Is Hay Fever?
Hay fever is an allergic reaction to pollen. Pollen is released by plants as part of their reproductive cycle, and levels are particularly high in the spring and summer months. These higher pollen levels lead to inflammation in the nose, which can cause pain, irritation and discomfort.
Symptoms of hay fever can vary depending on how severe the allergy is. They usually include itchy and watery eyes, a runny nose, frequent sneezing and an itchy throat, usually resulting in a cough. If the reaction becomes more serious, other symptoms can present themselves such as headaches, earache, tiredness, facial pain and even a loss of your sense of smell.
What Causes Hay Fever?
Hay fever occurs in most people when the pollen count reaches higher than 10 grains per cubic millimetre. At this point, the allergic reaction takes hold and the symptoms present themselves. Pollen levels increase as the weather becomes warmer, which is why sufferers can feel completely fine for ten months out of the year and only start to feel unwell again once spring and summer come back around.
Hay fever is most commonly a reaction to grass pollen, though it can also be an allergy to tree pollen (released earlier in the spring) or weed pollen (released in the early autumn.)
What Can You Do To Reduce Symptoms?
There are effective medications which can help ease your hay fever symptoms (more on that below) but what about the things you can do to reduce your discomfort?
Wearing wraparound sunglasses when outdoors can help protect your eyes from irritation. Hay fever also irritates your nose as well as your eyes, making the skin red and sensitive, so get into the habit of keeping a tub of Vaseline with you and use it to moisturise the skin around your nostrils.
Try to stay indoors as much as possible when suffering from hay fever, and keep the doors and windows shut. If you are going out, you should shower and change your clothes as soon as you return home. Also, try to vacuum your home regularly to remove any traces of pollen you might be bringing in with you.
By implementing these factors into your routine, you could significantly reduce your hay fever symptoms.
What Treatments Are Available For Hay Fever?
For most cases of hay fever, antihistamines are the most common and effective form of treatment. These are available at any well-stocked pharmacy, though you should try to purchase the non-drowsy variety so that they don’t affect your daily routine. Nasal sprays and eye drops are also commonly use to ease symptoms of hay fever such as itchiness, watery eyes and a blocked or runny nose.
These include our dual action steroid and antihistamine spray available as part of our private pharmacy service.
Dears Pharmacy offers a range of treatments for hay fever, helping you to enjoy the spring/summer season without worrying about allergies
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