Hay fever season is underway, many of you may start to notice symptoms appearing. It’s important to identify why we get symptoms, the first step comes with looking at what causes them, which is Pollens and mould spores.
What are the symptoms?
Typical symptoms of hayfever include; runny nose, itchy eyes, watery eyes, sneezing and the feeling of nasal congestion. These will often vary through the day and through the weeks with some days/times of day being worse than others. The variation in symptoms is due to the higher exposure to trigger factors such as pollen at different points in the day or week.
What triggers my Hayfever?
Avoiding the trigger factors or at least dampening their effect i.e. decreasing our exposure to pollen or stopping it being as effective to the body is central to helping us manage hay fever symptoms.
So what is pollen? Pollen is a male sperm of a plant. It is high in protein and this makes it very allergenic. Pollen is usually transferred from a male plant to a female plant via the wind and airborne pollen unfortunately can trigger the symptoms of hayfever.
It is important to recognise that pollen levels vary through the day and are typically highest at the start of the day and also can rise with the warm air at the end of the day. This tends to be when most people suffer with hayfever symptoms, if you catch yourself sneezing in the morning and the evening, the likelihood is it being due to the levels of pollen increasing at those points of day.
Pollen count is often broadcasted now on the weather channels, so it’s important to have a look to see when it’s likely to be highest and ensure you are ready with preventative measures and medications for those days in particular. There are a variety of different types of pollen that start from different points in a year.
Tree pollen typically is early on in spring and can be from January to May, later on in spring and early summer is when grass pollen season tends to come about and the final part of the summer is when we find higher levels of weed pollen.
Why is this important?
If you are a continual hay fever sufferer like me, you will understand that your symptoms at certain parts of the year are far worse and again making sure that you are ready for this preseason with the right medication and the right preventative measures will help you enjoy your summer better.
Top Tips to avoid Pollen
Limit your outdoor activity when pollen levels are high particularly in the mornings and evenings.
Don’t hang your clothes outside to dry in case they pick up pollen.
Watch out for weather forecasts to see when weekly variations of high pollen arise. This can often happen on hotter sunnier days.
Avoid rolling around in the grass.
Close windows during high pollen counts
Limit the time you spend in urban areas and by high traffic routes as pollen count can often be higher with the pollution in these areas.
Wear protective eyewear; for example wraparound sunglasses are the best at helping decrease symptoms of itchy eyes.
Wear face masks if you have to do any gardening, this will decrease the amount of pollen going into your respiratory tract.
Wearing hats with a large peak can often decrease the amount of pollen from going into her eyes and face.
What medications can help prevent symptoms or control them?
So there are a variety of medications that will help with ensuring hay fever symptoms are decreased/controlled during hay fever season.
Using eye drops that help soothe and relieve dry itchy and teary eyes can be a real benefit. You always have to start these eye drops early on in the season and they often take a little while to get working. The most common eye drops available over the counter or products like Opticrom Allergy eye drops.
There are a variety of antihistamine tablets available, these are often taken once a day and can help decrease the symptoms of hayfever. They are also good at relieving other symptoms of histamine release such as itchy skin or allergic reactions. Cetirizine is one of the main antihistamines used on a regular basis, alongside loratadine. You should only take one tablet a day and should not mix antihistamines, they can sometimes cause drowsiness so please read the packet carefully.
If you suffer with a lot of congestion or a runny nose
Nasal sprays are really useful, common nasal sprays will contain a low dose of steroid either; fluticasone or beclomethasone. These will be sprayed once a day and with sustained use will help to give you good symptom control throughout the hayfever period.
What other products would be helpful?
Tackling hay fever is not just about using one product unfortunately, in most cases for good hayfever control we will have to use numerous products and use lots of tips to help decrease the amount that hay fever affects in our day to day. So below are a few other products that you may find helpful to battle hayfever season.
There are a huge range of humidifiers available and what these do is; they will take in the air in your room, pass it through a filter and improve the quality of air within bedrooms within the household. This is hugely important when you are trying to take pollen out of the local air and will greatly improve symptoms for bad hayfever sufferers.
Nasal prongs use red light to help reduce the amount of histamine release in the body. They have to be used regularly for 5 to 10 minutes upto 2/3 times a day. However they can vastly improve nasal septum control without the need for additional medication.
A simple smear of Vaseline into our nostrils before going out will help trap pollen and prevent it going up the nasal passage, therefore helping decrease the amount of symptoms that are likely to affect you through the day. This small process can be a lifesaver when the pollen count is high.
Hope you find some of these tips for the forthcoming hayfever season beneficial. We would love your feedback and we are always here to help you with anything you need at Medicine Drop.
Should you have any queries or need any assistance with your hayfever supplies or symptom control, please drop us a call or a message at any point at all and our team will be happy to help!
This news blog was written on behalf of Medicine Drop. The views in this blog are that of the authors and you should not take the information as factual without speaking to your GP or Pharmacist for health advice.