The Independent Pharmacy says that up to 1 in 5 people in Britain are affected by hay fever every summer. Also known as seasonal allergic rhinitis, hay fever is caused by an allergy to pollen and fungal spores. The allergy typically occurs in the mucous membranes of the nasal passages and eyes, explaining the occurrence of the such as sneezing, itchy eyes and a blocked or runny nose.
The symptoms of hay fever are different for every individual, how it affects me, may not be how it affects you, but the most common symptoms are:
Watering or itchy eyes
Runny or blocked nose
Hay fever can usually be effectively controlled with over-the-counter medicines and advice from the pharmacy, no 'diagnosis' is usually necessary. As long as treatment is effective and symptoms are well-controlled, there is no need to see a doctor. But what treatments are there?
Hay Fever Tablets.
By regularly taking antihistamines, before your hay fever starts, you can block your body’s reaction to pollen and prevent symptoms from occurring and ease current symptoms.
Hay fever tablets are the most popular hay fever treatment, and usually help with a range of hay fever symptoms and can be enough to keep you symptom free without additional treatment.
Hay fever tablets are usually taken once a day.
Hay Fever Nasal Sprays.
Symptoms of hay fever such as sneezing, and a blocked or runny nose A LOT in hay fever sufferers. In some people, a daily tablet will be enough to treat the symptoms, but if symptoms are more severe a nasal spray may be necessary.
Nasal sprays for hay fever can be used on their own or in addition to hay fever tablets and eye drops.
Nasal sprays will only deal with nasal symptoms and should not be used for more than 7 days as they may cause dryness and irritation in your nasal passage, and can actually make the symptoms of congestion worse.
Hay Fever Eye Drops
For symptoms such as running and/or itching eyes, hay fever eye drops are the most appropriate treatment.
They can used up to four times daily in each eye depending on response and severity of symptoms. Most drops can be used in combination with hay fever tablets and nasal sprays to help fully control symptoms. But always check with your pharmacist first.
If your hay fever symptoms are peristant and aren't relieved by the above treatments, your GP may refer you for immunotherapy treatment. This involves gradually introducing you to small amounts of the allergen (the substance you're allergic to), such as pollen, and monitoring your allergic reaction in a controlled environment.
This blog post is not written by a doctor and you should always speak to your pharmacist or a doctor before starting any medication.
This is a collaborative post.