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 Summer and Those Dreaded Hay Fever Symptoms

Summer is back and you know what that means, Hay Fever symptoms are back too!

What is Hay Fever?

Hay fever is caused by our bodies overreacting to pollen. Our bodies wrongly perceive the pollen as a threat in the same way that it would a cold or a virus. The body thinks it is under attack and wants to get rid of the threat. So, it releases histamine. Histamine triggers a chain reaction, and the result are the symptoms that we know as hay fever.

Hay fever signs and symptoms can include:

·         Runny nose

·         Nasal congestion

·         Watery, itchy, red eyes

·         Sneezing

·         Coughing

·         Itchy nose, roof of mouth or throat

How do I know if it is Hay Fever?

Sometimes hay fever can be confused with a cold so the best way to tell the difference is by the amount of time you have had the symptoms.

If you have had the symptoms for a week or two weeks and they have then gone, this will more than likely be a cold. However, if the symptoms persist it is more than likely hay fever.

What are some treatments for Hay Fever?

While we can’t cure Hay fever, there are many treatments you can use to help keep your Hay fever under control.

First up, we have the most popular type of treatment - antihistamine tablets. There’s lots of different types of antihistamines out there. But be careful because some of these can make you drowsy but a lot of the newer drugs don’t. But they all work in the same sort of way by trying to neutralize the histamine that your body is releasing.

One of the stronger antihistamines is fexofenadine. It comes in a couple of different strengths, but the stronger version is not available over the counter, and it must be prescribed for you.

Next up, we have the topical treatments like eye drops and nasal sprays. Now sometimes oral antihistamines aren’t quite enough to relieve your symptoms. So, we need to add products that work locally at the sight of the irritation like in the eyes or the nose.

One of our most popular eye drops is olopatadine or Opatanol. Again, these drops are prescription strength, and they work in a similar way to antihistamines. But because they are applied directly to the eyes, they help to start relieving your symptoms straight away.

Then there’s the nasal sprays. Like eye drops, they are applied topically and get to work right away. Now a lot of the nasal sprays that are available are quite similar. Generally, the products specifically for hay fever contain a mild steroid that is sprayed directly into the sinuses to work as an anti-inflammatory. 

One of the more popular nasal sprays is Budesonide and it can be great for hay fever symptoms.

How can I prevent Hay Fever?

So, as well as treating the symptoms of hay fever, there are some simple steps you can take to hopefully try and prevent hay fever from taking control.

1. Remember that the pollen count can be higher in the mornings and evenings. So, try to avoid going out unnecessarily during these times. Also, keeping your doors and windows closed can prevent allergens from getting into your home and triggering your hay fever.

2. After being out for the day, change your clothes and take a shower or bath to wash away any pollen or allergens from your skin.

3. Big wrap around type sunglasses might not be the most on point fashion accessory of the year. But they can help stop pollen getting in your eyes.

4. Keep your environment as clean as possible - hoover regularly and dust with a damp cloth to catch any pollen that might cause your hay fever.

5. And lastly, it’s not very glamorous but sticking a little bit of Vaseline around your nostrils can help to trap pollen before it gets into your sinuses and causes you grief. This can also be a great way to soothe your nose if it gets sore from blowing it or wiping too much. Some patients swear by this trick but please remember, it’s not recommended for children.