Spring time is upon us and many of us are suffering from ALLERGIES!
Hay fever, medically known as Allergic Rhinitis, is an allergic reaction to pollen and other airborne allergens from trees, flowers and other plants that occurs in the nose, throat and eyes. The main symptoms of hay fever are runny nose, sneezing and itchy throat or eyes, sometimes followed by a secondary congestion in the nose for many hours afterwards. There are other symptoms of hay fever, feel free to come and discuss your individual symptoms with one of our Pharmacists.
Antihistamines – Histamine is an important chemical involved in your body’s response to allergens and other foreign objects. Antihistamines block the action of histamine and therefore stop the hay fever symptoms! There are many different types of antihistamines and some may be more suitable for different individuals, please come and discuss the differences with one of our friendly staff.
Steroid Nasal Sprays – These nasal sprays suppress the body’s reaction to allergens over the long term and are used as a ‘preventative’ medication. These are suitable for anyone who suffers from allergies regularly, whether that is all year round or seasonally. Steroids take 1-2 weeks before they start to relieve symptoms, therefore they must be used regularly. It is often helpful to start steroid nasal sprays 2 weeks before the start of a known allergy season like spring.
Decongestants – Sometimes hay fever can result in lots of congestion in the nose and sinuses. Decongestants will help to relieve this, however, they do not stop the allergy so it is advisable to still take an antihistamine with this or buy a combination product. Another thing to be aware of is that decongestants interact with other medications and this should be checked with our Pharmacist before using them.
Other Treatments can include topical products like antihistamine eye drops, lubricating eye drops and saline nasal sprays.
There are other ways to prevent hay fever, so please feel free to come in and talk to our friendly Pharmacists for individual advice!
Pharmaceutical Society of Australia. SelfCare: Hay Fever. 2011. Viewed online 18/10/11: http://member.psa.org.au/scriptcontent/Custom/MC_ShowPage.cfm?page=8870