Hay fever! It’s that time of year again. Pollen levels are spiking and gardens are being prepped for summer.
Hay fever is a common allergy affecting a wide population across the UK including adults and children. For some people it can be a mild itchy nose but for many it can have a big impact on their life and day to day activities. Do not fear, there are plenty of treatments and self-help tips to help tackle your symptoms.
What’s caused your hay fever to flare up?
Your symptoms have been triggered by an allergic reaction to pollen found in plants. This fine powder can get into your eyes, nose and throat to cause all of the annoying symptoms. Different pollens can cause different people to suffer. Tree pollen comes out first at the beginning of spring then grass pollen tends to be more prominent through the summer months. The hay fever season spans from March through to September. If you are a sufferer, it’s always a good idea to check out the pollen forecast!
Here are some of the symptoms you may experience during the hay fever season:
- Itchiness especially the eyes, nose and throat
- Watery eyes
- Either a blocked or a runny nose
Medication is available to buy at a pharmacy or for FREE via the Common Ailment Scheme (Wales) funded by NHS Wales. Ask your pharmacist for more information.
Antihistamine tablets – There are a variety of antihistamine tablets available. Some are non-drowsy, once daily, multiple dosing etc. they aren’t a one size fits all treatment. You may need to try more than one option before finding the one that works for you. Once you have the one they are very effective and can be taken on days that you are suffering.
Steroid nasal spray – Steroid nasal sprays are a great way to tackle any symptoms in the nose. If you have a blocked or runny nose they can work wonders for you. The spray will need to be used every day to maintain the treatment throughout the months you are suffering.
Eye drops – If you struggle with your eyes constantly itching and watering causing them to get bloodshot then eye drops can be a great addition to your medication cupboard. Sodium cromoglicate eye drops can be used up to four times a day when you feel your eyes starting to itch.
If you suffer badly with a range of symptoms then all three can be used in combination to try and keep you protected all summer.
Self help tips
- Wear wrap around sunglasses when outside
- Apply some Vaseline to the inside of your nostrils
- Keep windows and doors closed
- Check pollen counts and stay indoors if very high
- Shower after being outside
*Remember in Wales hayfever treatment can be supplied by your pharmacist for FREE via the Common Ailment Scheme. Visit your local pharmacy and ask for more information
See pollen forecast here