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Hay fever & Allergy Relief treatments

Hay fever & allergy relief infographic

Avamys

Avamys is a nasal spray used to treat the symptoms of allergic rhinitis. This includes symptoms such as sneezing, blocked or runny noses, and itchiness.

Avamys medication pack

Cetirizine

Cetirizine is an allergy medication that you can buy over the counter (OTC) at a pharmacy. That is, you don’t need a prescription.

Cetirizine medication packs

Dymista

Dymista is a dual-action nasal spray used to help relieve symptoms of allergic rhinitis in individuals over the age of 12 years old. Commonly used in hay fever, Dymista contains two active ingredients, azelastine and fluticasone.

Dymista medication packs

Fexofenadine

Fexofenadine is an antihistamine used to relieve allergy symptoms such as watery eyes, runny nose, itching eyes/nose, sneezing, hives, and itching. It works by blocking a certain natural substance (histamine) that your body makes during an allergic reaction.

Fexofenadine medication pack

Loratadine

Loratadine is an antihistamine medicine that relieves the symptoms of allergies. It's used to treat hay fever, conjunctivitis, eczema and hives

Loratadine medication packs

Nasonex

Nasonex Nasal Spray contains mometasone furoate, one of a group of medicines called corticosteroids. When mometasone furoate is sprayed into the nose, it can help to relieve inflammation (swelling and irritation of the nose), sneezing, itching and a blocked up or runny nose.

Nasonex medication packs

Optilast Eye Drops

Optilast Allergy Eye Drops are used for the treatment and prevention of seasonal allergic conjunctivitis.

Optilast medication packs

Telfast Tablets

Telfast is a prescription-only medicine used to treat seasonal allergic rhinitis, which many people experience as hay fever symptoms. It is an oral antihistamine tablet and can be taken once a day to help prevent and alleviate symptoms which include itching, sneezing and a runny nose.

Telfast medication packs

What is Hay Fever?

Hay Fever is essentially an allergy to pollen (tree, grass, weeds, etc.) and is most prevalent from early spring to late autumn. Sufferers are more likely to experience symptoms when the weather is warm, windy or humid as this is usually when the pollen count is at its highest. It is estimated that Hay Fever affects one in four of the population.

Pollen is a fine powder released by the male region (anther) of a plant. This is then carried either by animals or the wind to the female region (stigma) of a different plant. This process is one of the steps involved in a plants normal reproductive cycle.

Blood tests and skin prick tests can be used to diagnose Hay Fever; however, this is usually not required as the symptoms are seasonal. In the majority of cases the symptoms will be present from March to September which then disappear during the winter months. This pattern is distinctly indicative of a Hay Fever suffer and most healthcare professionals can diagnose with a high degree of confidence.

Symptoms of Hay Fever

Symptoms of Hay Fever can sometimes be confused with those of a common cold. If you have never suffered from Hay Fever in the past, then it can be difficult to distinguish between the two conditions. Usually though the symptoms of a cold will be limited to a couple of weeks at most whereas symptoms associated with Hay Fever can last for months.

Symptoms include but are not limited to:

  • runny nose or a congested nose
  • sneezing and/or coughing
  • streaming/watery eyes which can also be itchy and red
  • an itchy throat, ears, nose and mouth
  • feeling fatigued/tired/exhausted<
  • Pain - earache, temples, forehead, headache
  • loss of smell

If you already suffer from a respiratory condition such as Asthma or COPD, then you may also experience a worsening of respiratory function. This can include but again is not limited to:

  • chest tightness
  • shortness of breath
  • wheeze

In these circumstances a patient may be required to increase the use of their normal inhaler therapy during the Hay Fever season.

Treatment options

As there is no cure or preventative therapy for Hay Fever at present, treatment is aimed at controlling and managing the symptoms. Patients can reduce the severity of their symptoms by trying the following recommended steps first:

  • Applying a small amount of vaseline around the opening of the nasal passages can reduce the level of pollen being inhaled
  • changing clothes and taking a shower after you return from being outside can limit the time you are in contact with pollen
  • staying inside as much as possible - especially on days when the pollen count is known to be high. This includes keeping windows and doors closed. If you are required to go outside, then wear sunglasses and keep your time outdoors to a minimum.
  • Sufferers should avoid cutting grass or disturbing grass by not walking on it.
  • Vacuum on a regular basis and dust with a damp cloth.
  • Avoid having fresh flowers in the house.
  • Avoid spending time with pets which have been outdoors as they can transport pollen quite easily.
  • Do not smoke and avoid exposure to smoke as these can make symptoms worse.

If these measures do not work then your pharmacy can recommend a wide variety of drugs in the form of nasal sprays, eye drops, tablets, etc. Anti-histamine tablets are the most commonly used treatment option. Tablets can be used as stand-alone therapy for mild symptoms or in combination with steroid based nasal sprays for moderate to severe cases. Eye drops available over the counter can help with localised symptoms for acute attacks or can be used to prevent future symptoms from occurring by using them daily.

Failing this PrivateDoc has a range of prescription only medication which one of our doctors would be more than happy to prescribe after a quick and easy consultation.

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