Have you suffered or experience hayfever symptoms in the past?
Many people start to experience hayfever symptoms, especially during the summer season, which can take people who have never experienced hayfever before by surprise. A lot of people assume that you have hayfever from when you’re a child.
But what we see more commonly is that some people develop hayfever as an adult, whether in their 20’s or even much later. As a result, people can delay treatment and keep suffering through the symptoms unnecessarily, often mistaken their hayfever symptoms as a cold or just feeling beat up.
Common Hayfever Symptoms
Hayfever symptoms stem from a pollen allergy that typically comes from grasses and trees. When these pollens come into contact with the tissue inside the nose, eyes and/or throat, they trigger an immune reaction that can cause the following symptoms:
- Sneezing and coughing
- A runny or blocked nose
- Itchy, red, or watery eyes
- Itchy throat, mouth, nose, and ears
- Loss of smell
- Pain around your temples and forehead
- Feeling tired
Professor Stephen Durham, an allergy specialist, has calculated that the number of hayfever sufferers has doubled over 20 years. Suffering from these symptoms requires you to get in touch with our pharmacists about hayfever treatments. Keep an eye on our page for more advice over the next few weeks.
Why Do People Suffer from Hayfever Symptoms?
Pollen is the fine powder from the plants, trees, or flowers to fertilize other plants, trees, or flowers of the same species. During the summer months, pollen usually comes into contact with your mouth, nose, eyes, and throat when you are outdoors.
Strictly speaking, an allergy to grass or hay pollens can cause hayfever. Grass pollen remains the common cause and affects people annually from late spring to early summer. However, the term hayfever is often used when allergies are caused by other pollens, such as tree pollens.
Tree pollens affect people from the early weeks up to the late months of spring every year. Some people are allergic to weed pollens such as docks and nettles. Notably, weeds pollinate from the start of the spring up to the late days of autumn.
Hayfever symptoms vary from mild ones that come and go to severe, constant symptoms that really impact a person’s quality of life. The severity of the symptoms depends on the vulnerability of your immune system as targeted by the pollen components. As your body touches any part of the pollen, the cells located at the lining of the nose and eyes misinterpret it as a harmful substance and initiate an immune response which includes the release of histamine. The release of histamine leads to the visible symptoms associated with hayfever such as inflammation in the eyes (conjunctivitis) and nose (rhinitis) as well as itchy or watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing, and swelling of tissue
Have you checked the pollen count today?
Those who have suffered from hayfever previously should check the pollen count regularly during the Summer season. If the pollen count is high you are more liekly to experience symptoms. From this, you can ensure to take preventative measures in advance..
What Are the Most Common Treatment Options for Hayfever?
Like any allergic reaction, the best port of call is to try to avoid its trigger substance. However, given that pollen circulates in the air throughout the Summer this can be pretty much impossible. Depending on the symptoms, there is a range of products that you can get from the pharmacy without a prescription to help prevent and/or reduce the impact of your hayfever symptoms.
However, not all of these products will be suitable for you, so please make sure to speak to a pharmacy team before purchasing particularly if you are taking other medication. Always read the label.
Here are some of the treatment options for hayfever:
Antihistamines help stop hayfever if you take them before you contact the substance as it reduces the severity of symptoms afterward. Some antihistamines require a valid prescription, and some can buy directly from the pharmacy.
Older antihistamines cause drowsiness, whereas newer antihistamines are less likely to cause drowsiness. Antihistamines blocks the chemical reactions triggered by pollen. Some of the most familiar brands include (e.g., Zirtek, Cetrine)
Steroid nasal sprays can reduce nasal inflammation and prevent the symptoms of hayfever. In addition, by absorbing the medicine in your nose, you can prevent its adverse effects since very little of the medication is absorbed elsewhere (e.g., Flixonase, Beconase). This provides a useful alternative to antihistamines for people who particularly suffer with nasal symptoms, are taking other medications and/or suffer from drowsiness with anithistamines.
Barriers to Trap Pollen
These barrier products are non-medicated treatments which trap & prevent pollen from beind absorbed into the lining of your tissues. As non-medicated treatments, they offer a great alternative for children and people who are taking multiple medications and/or suffer side effects from other hayfever treatments.
Becodefence Nasal Sprays: reduces nasal symptoms by forming a barrier on the nasal lining and helping to remove allergens.
Nuage Hayfever Relief Wipes: enriched with Tea Tree & Peppermint Oil, the wipes remove & trap pollen before they can affect you.
Nuage Hayfever Barrier Balm: designed to be applied inside the nostrils trap pollen to ease symptoms.
To reduce swelling in the passageways of your nose, Decongestants (eg. Sudafed, Sinutab) relieve the feeling of pressure and improves the flow of air. However, these medications are for short-term treatment symptoms and not suitable for others taking blood pressure medication. Zirtek Plus is a combination product that contains a decongestant & a non-drowsy antihistamine.
People suffering from hayfever catches eye inflammation is known as ‘allergic conjunctivitis.’ We see this symptom among people affected with hayfever at this time of year.
The symptoms arise because hayfever usually occurs during the summer. Hay-Bands are a drug-free alternative treatment as it utilizes acupressure in relieving the many symptoms of hayfever.
If you’re suffering from hayfever symptoms, please speak to our pharmacy team to choose the right treatment for you. The medications take effect after two to four weeks.
Also, it would help if you took another variant of treatment based on your doctor’s advice. However, if your medication works just fine until the end of the pollen season, continue towards your recovery.
Asthma and Hayfever
Your GP may prescribe an inhaler or other medication if asthma symptoms develop or worsen during the hayfever season.
Speak to your GP if your asthma control worsens.
If you have any questions about your symptoms or any of the medication, please feel free to contact Brennan’s Pharmacy for advice.