Hay fever advice- It’s that time of year
Do you suffer from hay fever every year or have you just started this year. Either way this article has practical tips and advice to help you find solutions to your hay fever problems.
1 in 5 Irish people suffer from hay fever. The first symptoms that people usually notice are runny nose, watery eyes and sneezing. This is because hay fever is where the body’s immune system over reacts to normally harmless substances. Hay fever affects the nose, the sinuses, the eyes and the throat.
Hay fever can affect any one but is more common in families where there is a history of eczema and asthma. Hay fever tends to be worse when the pollen count is high. However people react to different types of pollen. In general tree pollen causes more problems from January to April, where grass pollen causes hay fever from May to August.
There are practical steps you can take to reduce your exposure to your trigger. These include closing windows and doors so pollen doesn’t enter, this is especially important if grass is being cut outside. It can also help to put a small amount of Vaseline on the inside of your nose to block the pollen from getting in. Wearing sunglasses outside can help you avoid getting pollen in your eyes. It can be useful to change your clothes and to take a shower after being outside in pollen.
You can also visit your pharmacist or doctor for help with your symptoms. In the pharmacy you can buy over the counter antihistamines. Some of these can cause drowsiness and may interfere with other medications so be sure to mention any regular medicines that you take. Antihistamines work by blocking the action of Histamine. The body produces Histamine when it thinks it is under attack.
Another option is to buy a Corticosteroid nasal spray that will work by reducing inflammation inside the nose. These sprays can work really well to both prevent and relieve hay fever symptoms. They are based used every day and ideally before the start of the hay fever season.
You can also buy antihistamine eye drops to relieve eye irritation. These drops usually contain Sodium Chromoglicate. You can get these in a multi-use bottle or individual single use versions. The single use drops are very handy if you only suffer from eye symptoms from time to time as they don’t expire a month after opening.
It is also possible to buy nasal decongestants over-the-counter which work well for short term nasal congestion. However you should be careful not to use these for longer than 7 days as they can cause dryness and rebound congestion if used continually.
Above all there are options that can ease your symptoms, don’t suffer on. Call into your pharmacy and ask for help.