Hay fever (or seasonal allergic rhinitis if we want to be proper) results from our body producing an allergic reaction to pollen. Symptoms typically include itchy, watery eyes, a runny nose, dry cough, scratchy throat and possibly a bit of a wheezy chest. Severity varies greatly, with some people only mildly affected and others suffering to the extent of having to cancel plans as they can’t get outside! Timing varies too, depending on the type of pollen an individual is allergic to.
Those who suffer specifically from tree pollen allergy tend to find symptoms start quite early in the year, often around March, while weeds are often a problem that lingers in Autumn. Regardless of cause, treatments are similar although some people respond better to one than another and it can be a little trial & error to find the right one. Ideally keep windows closed in a morning and evening to limit pollen entering the home when temperatures are rising and falling. When going outside wearing sunglasses can help protect the eyes and a product like vaseline around the nostrils may help trap pollen before it enters the nose. For symptom treatment eye drops such as sodium cromoglycate, tablets such as cetirizine and loratadine and nasal sprays like beclometasone are all available over the counter and can be used alone or in combination. In some severe cases, these over the counter treatments are not sufficient and prescription only products and doses have to be used for relief. Our private clinic can help discuss the use of these and supply such items as are needed.
A useful nasal spray that can really help is a potent steroid combined with an antihistamine. Available only with a prescription it can be used alone or alongside tablets to power through the symptoms of hay fever. Our clinic also often gets asked for steroid injections which do really help the extreme sufferer. However, this injection treatment can cause a reduction in immune system, which we wouldn’t consider a safe risk due to the current Covid pandemic.
Hopefully this option will be safe to resume in future, but this year just isn’t a worthwhile risk. If you need any more information, please call us on 01254 875008 or message us via this website.