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Will Nasonex Prevent My Hay Fever From Coming Back?

Posted Thursday 13 August 2020 11:00 by in Hay Fever and Allergy Relief by Harman Bhamra

Commonly known as allergic rhinitis, hay fever is usually characterized by its cold-like symptoms like congestion, sneezing, itchy eyes, sinus pressure, and runny nose. However, unlike the cold, hay fever is caused by allergens (e.g. dust mites, pollen, and animal dander) - not a virus.

Nasonex is a commonly used nasal spray against hay fever. But will Nasonex prevent your hay fever from coming back? Let’s find out.

What does Nasonex actually do?

Nasonex is a popular branded equivalent of Mometasone Furoate Monohydrate. This type of drug is used to help relieve the symptoms of both year-round allergic rhinitis and hay fever.

Mometasone, the active ingredient in Nasonex, is a corticosteroid. This group of medicines work by reducing the inflammation and swelling in your sinuses to relieve hay fever symptoms like sneezing, congestion, and runny nose.

Unlike other allergy medications, Nasonex does not make you feel drowsy. This means that you can still keep doing your day to day activities without any problems while under medication.

Will Nasonex prevent my hay fever from coming back?

Nasonex is designed to relieve the symptoms of hay fever but it doesn’t resolve the root cause of the issue. Remember that hay fever can be seasonal or year-round and it’s usually caused by allergens like pollen, fur, dust, and pet dander which are suspended in the air. Nasonex will help alleviate your symptoms but if you don’t remove these allergens from your home or take necessary precautions to limit your exposure, your hay fever will be back as soon as you stop taking the medication.

How long can you use Nasonex?

It is safe to use Nasonex daily. Usually, the prescribed dose of this medication is one or two squirts in each nostril every day. You can reduce your dosage to one squirt per day once your hay fever symptoms are under control. Take note that this medication may not work right away. Some people report that they started feeling its effects within two days. Studies suggest that it may take up to two weeks before you feel the full effect of the drug.

If you are using Nasonex to prevent seasonal hay fever, start taking the medication 2-4 weeks before the pollen season begins. You might need to ask your doctor for advice if you are planning to take Nasonex for more than six months or if you are taking other medications which may interact with the treatment.

Nasonex must only be taken by ages 12 and up. If your symptoms don’t improve after two weeks, consult your GP.

What time of the day should I take Nasonex?

If your dosage is two squirts a day. You can take Nasonex once in the morning and then one squirt again in the evening. The rule of the thumb is that you take Nasonex at precisely the same time each day. Don’t increase your dosage.


Blocked Nose Caused by Hay Fever? Here’s How to Treat It

Posted Thursday 30 April 2020 10:20 by in Hay Fever and Allergy Relief by Harman Bhamra

Are you suffering from a blocked nose caused by hay fever? You are not alone. Millions of people in the UK suffer from hay fever every year. In this blog, we will show you how to treat a blocked nose at home. But before we do that, let's talk about what hay fever actually is.

What Is Hay Fever?

Also known as allergic rhinitis, hay fever is an irritation or inflammation of the nose. The symptoms of hay fever may include a runny nose, sneezing, coughing, itchiness in the throat or roof of the mouth, itchy nose and skin, watery eyes, postnasal drip, and nasal congestion. These symptoms may linger if hay fever is left untreated.

What Causes Hay Fever?

Hay fever is usually caused by allergens like pollen, mould, fungi, perfume, cigarette smoke, dust mites, and pet dander. These allergens are harmless but sometimes, the body’s immune system overreacts to these substances when they enter the body. As a result, your body produces histamines and other chemicals which are the culprit of the hay fever symptoms we’ve discussed above.

How Long Is Hay Fever Season?

Hay fever season in the UK usually begins in the early spring and summer months. Below are some of the allergens commonly present during this period:

  • May and July – grass pollen
  • February and September – tree pollen
  • June and September – weed pollen

Take note that hay fever can be perennial (all year) too. This kind of hay fever is usually caused by indoor allergens like dust, mould, and pet fur.

Treating Your Blocked Nose Caused by Hay Fever

A stuffy nose is caused by inflamed blood vessels (caused by flu, colds, infection, or allergy) in your sinuses. A blocked nose can be a right nuisance, especially when all you want to do is enjoy some fresh air. Luckily, there are some easy ways to fix it. Read below:

1. Take a hot shower

Steam from a hot shower reduces the inflammation in your nose. It also helps thin out the mucus. So, the next time you find yourself bogged down by a blocked nose, consider hopping into the bathroom and enjoy a warm shower.

You can also get the same results by breathing in steam from a pot of hot water. How to do it? Simply put a towel over your head and place your head over the hot water. Let steam build-up for some time and then take deep breaths.

2. Use a humidifier in your room

Breathing in moist air can help soothe your swollen blood vessels and irritated sinuses. Humidifiers can also help to thin out mucus. Humidifiers work by converting water into moisture that slowly fills the air around you. It's a must-have, especially during hay fever season.

3. Use a warm compress

It’s very easy to make a warm compress. Simply soak a clean towel in a bowl of warm water. Squeeze out the excess water and then fold it. Place the warm compress over your nose or forehead. A warm compress can provide relief from a blocked nose by opening your nasal passages. It can also help provide some comfort and reduce the inflammation in your nostrils.

4. Buy a saline nasal spray

A saline spray is just a saltwater solution. You spray it into your nostrils to increase moisture and to thin out the mucus that’s been blocking your nasal passages. Saline sprays also help decrease the inflammation in your sinuses.

Some saline sprays are medicated. For example, this mometasone nasal spray is a saline spray infused with corticosteroids (mometasone) that work by reducing the inflammation and swelling in your nose. Corticosteroids can also help relieve other symptoms caused by hay fever such as sneezing and itchy, watery eyes.

5. Take allergy medicines

Another way to relieve your blocked nose is by taking allergy medicines, usually antihistamines. These drugs work by countering the effect of histamines which are produced by your body when you have hay fever. Histamines cause most of the symptoms of hay fever including a stuffy nose. Antihistamines can help reduce the swelling in your sinuses and relieve your nasal congestion.

Keep in mind that some antihistamines can make you feel drowsy. Don’t take them when you need to be active (like working or driving).

6. Drink liquids

Staying hydrated can help unblock your nose. Liquids (i.e. water, juice, or sports drinks) thin out the mucus in your nasal passages, making it easier to breathe clearly. This relieves pressure on your sinuses. Thus, reducing the irritation and inflammation.

If your blocked nose comes with a sore throat, try warm tea or soup to help soothe your irritated throat too.

Final Thoughts

Remember that hay fever symptoms will not go away as long as you are still exposed to the allergen that’s causing it. All you can do is manage your symptoms.

But prevention is better than cure. Lifestyle changes like the following can help you prevent hay fever:

  • Not going outside when the pollen count is high
  • Keeping your doors and windows shut
  • Keeping pets outside the house
  • Cleaning your house
  • Not smoking inside
  • Planting a low-allergen garden
  • Damping dust regularly using a wet cloth to prevent it from collecting

Allergy Awareness Week: 8 Signs of an Allergic Reaction

Posted Tuesday 21 April 2020 11:26 by in Hay Fever and Allergy Relief by Harman Bhamra

Are you feeling a bit under the weather, as though you have a sudden burst of hay fever or an intense cold? You might be having an allergic reaction. But how can you tell if you’re suffering from an allergic reaction?

We’ve listed the 8 signs of an allergic reaction below. Give it a read to see if your symptoms match.

What Is An Allergic Reaction?

Your body's immune system is responsible for keeping you safe against viruses and bacteria. However, there might be times when your "defence system" overreacts and attacks harmless foreign substances, called allergens, that enter the body.

Examples of these allergens include:

  • Bee stings
  • Certain plants
  • Moulds
  • Pollen
  • Certain foods (i.e. shellfish, nuts)
  • Pet hair/fluff
  • Certain medications (i.e. aspirin)
  • Dust

During an allergic reaction, your immune system releases certain antibodies that tell your cells to stop the allergen. In response, cells targeted by your antibodies release a substance called histamine along with other chemicals. These antibodies only target a specific allergen. That’s why some people are allergic to nuts while others are allergic to moulds.

Allergens usually enter your body through your mouth, nose, skin, and eyes. Depending on the point of entry, these allergens can cause nasal congestion, rashes, or an upset stomach.

What Are The Common Signs Of An Allergic Reaction?

Sometimes, it can be hard to distinguish an allergic reaction from the common cold. So, we've outlined below the most common signs of an allergic reaction to help you understand what you might be dealing with.

1. You experience a dry cough

When it comes to colds and allergies, throat symptoms can be hard to distinguish. But there’s a telltale difference between the two. If you are coughing up mucus, you most likely have a cold. People suffering from an allergic reaction rarely develop a productive cough. They develop a dry cough, instead.

2. Your mucus is watery or clear

Speaking of mucus, both colds and allergies start with clear liquid mucus. However, as symptoms continue, your mucus will start getting thicker and yellowish with a cold. If your mucus stays clear and watery, it’s more likely to be allergies.

3. You have itchy and watery eyes

According to Dr David Rosenstreich of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Centre, allergies are most likely to cause watery and itchy eyes than colds. Although, the latter may also cause some redness or discomfort around the eyes. Your eyes tend to tear up to wash away pollens and other allergens.

In some cases, an allergic reaction may also cause some swelling or puffiness around your eyes. This happens because your eyes have protective cells, known as mast cells, which produce histamine to fight off allergens.

4. You don’t have a fever

A fever is a telltale sign that something bad is happening in your body - almost always an infection. Allergies can elevate your body temperature but they rarely cause any fever, unlike the common cold and the flu.

5. You can still stand up

The muscle aches and joint pains caused by colds and flu can send you to bed for days! Allergies, on the other hand, are not as bad. Yes, it can make you feel tired and run-down but at the end of the day, you still have the energy to do your daily routines.

6. You have hives

Hives, medically known as Urticaria, is characterized by patches of swollen, pale red bumps on your skin. Hives appear suddenly and are often caused by allergies. It causes itching as well as a burning or stinging feeling and can appear anywhere on your body.

Hives can be as small as a coin or as large as a plate. Small patches may join together to form plaques and can last for hours or days. Hives are mostly triggered by allergic reactions from insect bites, food (i.e. nuts, fish, eggs, berries, milk, and tomatoes), and certain medications.

The best way to treat hives is by removing the trigger or cause of allergy.

7. You have diarrhoea

Diarrhoea can be another sign of an allergic reaction to certain foods like shrimp, crab peanuts, egg, peanuts, soy, and milk. It is your body's natural response to get rid of the food that it mistakenly identifies as harmful.

8. Your symptoms don’t disappear

On average, cold symptoms hang around for a week. Allergy symptoms, on the other hand, linger as long as the allergen that triggers it is still present. You will feel almost instantly better once you are no longer exposed to the allergen. It’s easy if it’s just someone else’s pet. The challenge is when it’s caused by pollen, dust mite, or moulds.

Anaphylaxis: What you Need to Know

Allergies can be serious and life-threatening when left unchecked. It could lead to a condition called anaphylaxis - a severe allergic reaction to food or medication. Anaphylaxis can cause symptoms of low pulse, rash, and shock called anaphylactic shock. Contact your doctor immediately if you encounter any of these symptoms.

How to Treat an Allergic Reaction

Most allergy symptoms are mild and don’t require urgent medical care. Allergic reactions don’t go away until the trigger is removed and you are no longer exposed to the allergen.

You can control your symptoms by heading to an online pharmacy, taking antihistamines, drinking plenty of fluids, and getting enough rest.

Antihistamines work by blocking the effects of histamine in your body. They work within 30 minutes and provide relief for hours. Depending on your symptoms, you can take an antihistamine every day to keep your symptoms checked. Antihistamines are more effective when taken regularly as a preventive measure rather than taking it when you already have symptoms.


The Signs and Symptoms of Hay Fever

Posted Monday 02 March 2020 09:30 by in Hay Fever and Allergy Relief by Harman Bhamra

Hay fever or allergic rhinitis is one of the most common allergic conditions in the world. Hay fever symptoms include a runny nose, sneezing, and tiredness. More than 10 million people suffer from hay fever in the UK.

It has two types:

  1. Seasonal Hay Fever – occurs on months when individual plants pollinate. For example, if you suffer from hay fever during autumn, you are probably allergic to some weeds and fungus spores. During spring, tree pollens.
  2. Perennial Hay Fever – occurs all year round. Perennial hay fever is most likely due to indoor allergens like dust mites, animal dander (tiny flakes of skin), fur, or feathers. You may find these triggers in beddings, carpets, pillows, and draperies. Moulds can also cause hay fever symptoms. They usually thrive in damp areas like your basement or bathroom.

Common hay fever allergens:

  • Pollen
  • Fungi
  • Mould
  • Pet fur or dander
  • Dust mites
  • Perfume
  • Cigarette smoke

What Causes Hay Fever?

An overreacting immune system causes hay fever. When an allergen (e.g. pollens) enter your body, your immune system treats this as a harmful substance - setting in motion a series of defensive mechanisms to protect you. Levels of histamine and leukotrienes in your blood rise, causing the lining of your sinuses, eyelids, and nasal passages to become inflamed. You also sneeze more than usual.

These hay fever symptoms protect your body by either trapping (like in the case of swelling nasal passages so the allergens can't enter) or expelling (like in the case of sneezing) the allergens.

Hay fever is often inherited. If one or more of your family members suffer from hay fever, there’s a big chance that you’ll get one too.

What are the Symptoms of Hay Fever?

Below are the most common hay fever symptoms that you’ll encounter:

  • Prolonged and violent sneezing
  • Runny nose or blocked nose
  • Itchiness particularly in your nose, throat, and roof of your mouth
  • Itchy and watery eyes
  • Tiredness and fatigue
  • Ear fullness
  • Postnasal drip that may lead to coughing
  • Anosmia or the loss of your sense of smell
  • Facial pain

Hay fever symptoms vary in severity and duration. It may also depend on weather conditions. In the UK, hay fever is often worse during late March to September. The warm, windy, and humid weather is ideal for pollen propagation.

The presence of irritants in the air often aggravates severe hay fever symptoms. The inflammation in the lining of your nose makes your nose more sensitive to irritants. Below are some of the common irritants that may make your hay fever symptoms worse:

  • Air pollution
  • Humidity changes
  • Wind
  • Strong odours
  • Wood smoke
  • Aerosol sprays
  • Irritating fumes
  • Temperature changes
  • Cigarette smoke

If left unchecked, severe hay fever symptoms can lead to various complications like:

  • Asthma
  • Ear infections (this is more common in children)
  • Sinusitis (persistent inflammation of your sinuses)
  • Allergic conjunctivitis (a complication that results when an allergen irritates the membranes on your eye)

What is the Difference Between a Cold and Hay Fever?

Many people confuse colds and hay fever. Why? Because cold and hay fever symptoms can feel similar. Hay fever treatment is very different from colds; that's why it's essential to know the differences between the two.

Cold Hay Fever
Symptoms Colds cause a runny nose, and the discharge is often thicker and yellowish. Hay fever causes a runny nose, but the discharge is watery and thin.
Duration 3-7 days. Hay fever lasts as long as the allergens that caused it are still there. Hay fever often goes on for several weeks.
Fever Colds often come with a low-grade fever. Hay fever doesn’t cause a fever.
Timing Colds begin one to three days after your exposure to the cold virus. Hay fever symptoms begin immediately after your exposure to an allergen.

Remember, the most significant difference between a cold and hay fever is that a cold will always come with body aches and a fever.

Hay Fever Treatments

You can reduce your hay fever symptoms by decreasing your exposure to allergens. For example, you can clean and air out your room regularly to prevent dust and mould from collecting. Other lifestyle changes that you can do include:

  • Washing your hands after interacting with your pets.
  • Use a dehumidifier in your room to control mould growth.
  • Keeping windows closed, especially when the weather is dry, windy, and humid to keep pollens out.
  • Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes when you go outside.

Hay Fever Medications

Nasal Sprays

Nasal sprays like Mometasone and Nasonex from Express Pharmacy can help relieve nasal congestion and reduce postnasal drip. These medications contain corticosteroids which help reduce the inflammation and swelling of the lining of your nose.

Antihistamines

Antihistamines help control your itches and sneezing. Express Pharmacy sells Fexofenadine (generic) and Telfast (branded) which you can get without a prescription. These antihistamines don't make you feel drowsy, so they're safe to use even while at work.

You can buy your hayfever treatments through Express Pharmacy.

When to See a Doctor

Most hay fever cases can be treated at home using over the counter treatments. See your GP if:

  • You have severe hay fever symptoms that don’t go away with regular hay fever treatments.
  • You are suffering side effects from your medication
  • You experience repeated sinusitis or worsening asthma
  • You experience the symptoms in an unusual time (for example during winter) or place. You might need to undergo some tests to confirm other allergens that might be causing your hay fever.

How to Prevent Hay Fever

The best way to prevent hay fever is to steer clear from the allergens that trigger it. Lifestyle changes like cleaning your home, keeping your yard clean, and daily exercise can help reduce your chances of catching hay fever again. Eating healthy can also give your immune system a boost.

When you go outside, wear a hat with a brim to protect your face. Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes. And always wash your face and hands when you get home or after interacting with your pets. During hay fever season, it’s better to keep your pets outside the house. Bathe them regularly if they come inside often.


Can These Foods Help You Avoid Hay Fever This Summer?

Posted Tuesday 25 June 2019 19:43 by in Hay Fever and Allergy Relief by Tim Deakin

Summer is a time for long days, warm weather, fun and relaxation, but for many of us it’s also a time when hay fever symptoms rear their ugly head.

Hay fever, or allergic rhinitis, is a condition that occurs due to an allergic reaction to pollen. It affects up to one in five people at some point in their life, and is often at its most common during the spring and summer, when tree and grass pollen are most populous.[1]

Symptoms of hay fever usually include:

Itchy eyes and throat

Sneezing

Blocked or runny nose

Watering, red eyes

Headaches

Blocked sinuses

Shortness of breath

Tiredness[2]

There are many reports of potential cures for hay fever, including certain foods. But how effective are they?

Berries, ginger, citrus and more

A diet rich in antioxidants can help to alleviate symptoms of pollen allergy. In fact, antioxidants like Quercetin and the polyphenols have been shown to reduce sneezing in those allergic to pollen and dust. These antioxidants can be found in common fruits, herbs and vegetables such as red apples, onions, garlic, grapes and berries.[3]

Quercetin works in synergy with another important antioxidant: vitamin C. Found in citrus fruits, broccoli and dark leafy greens, vitamin C is an important anti-allergy component as it strengthens the immune system, calming allergic reactions due to its anti-inflammatory properties.[4]

Speaking of anti-inflammatory properties, spices like ginger and turmeric are among the most effective ingredients, inhibiting the production of the inflammatory compound histamine.[5]

Tried and tested methods for dealing with hay fever

It’s important to remember that, while increasing your intake of these foods may help reduce your symptoms, they don’t offer guaranteed success if used alone.

The NHS provides several key tips for reducing the impact of hay fever during peak times of year. These include:

Putting Vaseline around your nostrils to trap pollen

Showering and changing your clothes after going outside

Staying indoors whenever possible

Wearing wraparound sunglasses to protect your eyes

Vacuuming regularly and dusting with a damp cloth

Keeping windows and doors shut

Investing in a pollen filter for your home air vents[6]

Combining treatments and precautionary methods can give you a greater chance of success when it comes to keeping your hay fever symptoms in check.

Medication can help you enjoy the summer without worry

For many people, antihistamine medication is necessary in order to ensure regular relief from hay fever. Unlike the foods mentioned above, these medications are specifically designed to tackle the impact of hay fever on your health and wellbeing during peak times of year, meaning they’ll probably be more reliable when it comes to alleviating your symptoms this summer.

Both oral medications and steroid nasal sprays can help encourage an anti-inflammatory response to your hay fever, offering significant daily relief.[7] Studies have found medication options such as Fexofenadine to be a clinically effective option for the treatment of hay fever, and one which offers minimal side effects.[8]

You can find safe and effective allergy relief medication like Fexofenadine, Telfast and Nasonex right here at Express Pharmacy. And if you have any questions for our team, call us today on 0208 123 07 03 or use our discreet online Live Chat service.

[1] NHS Inform. Hay Fever. 2019

[2] Allergy UK. Hay Fever (Allergic Rhinitis). 2019

[3] Barszcz, N. What to eat to beat hay fever. Healthy Magazine. 2018.

[4] Holford, P. Seven nutrients that work for hay fever. Patrick Holford. 2018

[5] Mashhadi, N.S., Anti-Oxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Ginger in Health and Physical Activity: Review of Current Evidence. International Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2013.

[6] NHS UK. Hay Fever. 2017

[7] Asthma UK. Hay fever treatments.2019

[8] Simpson, K. Jarvis, B. Fexofenadine: a review of its use in the management of seasonal allergic rhinitis and chronic idiopathic urticaria. Drugs. 2000