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All You Need to Know About Hay Fever

What is hay fever, and how can you manage it?

Hay fever, also known as allergic rhinitis, is a condition that occurs when your body reacts to pollen from trees, grasses, or weeds. When these particles come into contact with your nose and throat, the body mistakes them for a foreign invader and produces histamines in an attempt to fight them off. Many use over the counter treatments such as hayfever eye drops.

Causes of Hay Fever

A mild climate and a lot of grassland are the leading causes of hay fever. However, several specific factors can make hay fever worse, including:

  • Being exposed to environmental pollutants such as car exhaust fumes, tobacco smoke, and chemical fumes
  • Cutting grass
  • Being in a park or near trees
  • Having a cold or the flu
  • Having a family history of allergies

How Can You Tell You Have Hay Fever?

Hay fever symptoms range from mildly annoying to completely incapacitating. They include:

  • A runny or blocked nose
  • Sneezing
  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • An itchy throat
  • Swollen, itchy lips and ear canals
  • In severe cases, hay fever can also cause fatigue, headaches, and difficulty sleeping.

What Can You Do to Ease Your Hay Fever Symptoms?

If you suffer from hay fever, there are lifestyle and home remedies that can ease your symptoms. These include:

  • Wearing wraparound sunglasses to keep pollen out of your eyes
  • Staying indoors when the pollen count is high
  • Taking a shower and changing your clothes after you have been outside
  • Keeping windows and doors shut at home and in the car
  • Vacuuming regularly to remove pollen from your home
  • Using a saline nasal spray to rinse pollen from your nose
  • Applying a cold compress to your eyes to relieve itching and swelling.

If you find that your hay fever symptoms are not responding to these measures, you may need to visit a pharmacy for sprays or hayfever eye drops. A pharmacist will be able to advise you on the best course of treatment, which may include:

Antihistamines

These can be taken as tablets, capsules, liquids, or nasal sprays. They work by reducing histamine production, which helps relieve hay fever symptoms.

Decongestants

These can be taken as tablets, capsules, liquids, or nasal sprays. Decongestants help reduce swelling in the nose and make it easier to breathe.

Corticosteroid Nasal Sprays

These work by reducing inflammation in the nose.

Brennans Pharmacy: Your Local Source for Expert Advice on Hay Fever and Allergies

Untreated hay fever can lead to sinus infections, ear infections, and even asthma attacks, all things we want to avoid. At Brennans Pharmacy, we’ve been helping people manage their hay fever for years, and we’ll be happy to help you find the best way to manage your hay fever and get back to enjoying summer! So, pop in any of our stores or give us a call today! We are always happy to help!

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Abigail Doherty | Buncrana | Brennans Pharmacy
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