It’s that time of year again, spring arrives and hay fever season begins. Pollen counts are rising and with that comes runny noses, itchy eyes, sneezing and coughing! At this time of year tree pollen is the main culprit and in the coming months the grass pollen levels will soar. Prevention is better than cure, so with that in mind, we would like to give you some tips on preventing and treating hay fever symptoms.
So what is hay fever?
Hay fever is a type of allergic reaction, your body reacts when you come in contact with a particular allergen or trigger. In hay fever when one of these allergens is breathed in, there is an immune response in the lining of the nose. This causes the nasal passages to become swollen and inflamed.
Hay fever symptoms include:
- Blocked and runny nose
- Sinus congestion with headaches, especially along the forehead
- Itchy, red and watery eyes
- Puffy eyes and lower eyelids
- Cough and occasional wheeze
- Ears popping with occasional hearing impairment
- Diminished senses of taste and smell (severe hay-fever sufferers)
- Itchy along roof of mouth and back of throat when eating certain foods
- Feeling of intense thirst
You may feel like the only one suffering, but believe me you are not! Hay fever is a common condition that is believed to affect around 1 in 5 people. It is also more likely if there is a family history of allergies, particularly asthma or eczema.
But fear not there are a number of simple steps you can take to reduce your symptoms and prevent flare ups. Not only that but there any many pharmacy remedies that can help to treat your symptoms.
Tips for reducing hay fever symptoms
- Avoid cutting grass, playing or walking in grassy areas, and camping.
- Wear wraparound sunglasses to stop pollen getting in your eyes when you are outdoors.
- Apply Vaseline to the inside of nostrils to act as a barrier to allergens.
- Change your clothes and take a shower after being outdoors to remove the pollen on your body.
- Try to stay indoors when the pollen count is high (over 50). Or even better go to the seaside! Pollen levels are often lower in seaside areas especially if there is an off shore breeze.
- Keep windows and doors shut in the house. If it gets too warm, draw the curtains to keep out the sun and keep the temperature down.
- Do not keep fresh flowers in the house.
- Vacuum regularly, ideally using a machine with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter.
- Damp dust regularly. Dusting with a wet cloth, rather than a dry one, will collect the dust and stop any pollen from being spread around.
- Keep pets out of the house during the hay fever season. If your pet does come indoors, wash it regularly to remove any pollen from its fur.
- Do not smoke or let other people smoke in your house. Smoking and breathing in other people’s smoke will irritate the lining of your nose, eyes, throat and airways, and can make your symptoms worse.
- Keep car windows closed.
Pharmacy Remedies for Hay Fever
Anti – histamine tablets
- Antihistamines are usually effective at treating itching, sneezing and watery eyes, but they may not help a blocked nose.They are suitable for most people to take, just check with the pharmacist if you are taking other medicines or have any medical condition. They can be taken every day to prevent the symptoms of hay fever developing or becoming worse.
- Corticosteroid nasal sprays (Flixonase, Nasacort) are more effective than antihistamine tablets at preventing and relieving nasal symptoms, including sneezing and 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.
- Prevalin Nasal Prevalin Allergy Nasal Spray works by creating a barrier on the nasal lining.
Instead of treating hay fever symptoms once they have set in, Prevalin tackles the root cause of hay fever before full blown symptoms even occur
- Eye drops are available over the counter to treat the hay fever symptoms that affect your eyes, such as redness, itchiness and watering (allergic conjunctivitis). These drops contain an antihistamine to reduce the inflammation in your eyes, which will relieve the symptoms.
- Hay-Band is a drug-free alternative for treating hay fever. It uses acupressure to help relieve the many symptoms of Hay fever. This natural method of treating these allergies have been used for centuries. This product stimulates the LI-11 pressure point in the arm which aids relief of the symptoms of hay fever. Hay-Band provides season long relief and causes no drowsiness, it is fast acting, re-usable and has zero side effects.
Check out the Hay Fever Relief App for more information on www.hayfever-relief.com . This allows you to track your symptoms and get advice throughout the hay fever season.