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Hay Fever and Allergy Relief


Everything You Need to Know to Get Through Hay Fever Season

Posted Thursday 04 May 2017 19:11 by Tim Deakin in Hay Fever and Allergy Relief

hay fever medicationMany of us look forward to spring as a warmer, brighter time of year. Unfortunately, for a huge number of us spring also signals the start of the dreaded hay fever season. The key to dealing with hay fever effectively is to understand it – learn what to expect and how to treat your hay fever allergy in the best way.

What is hay fever?

Simply put, hay fever is an allergic reaction to pollen. Pollen is released by plants as part of their reproductive cycle, and levels are particularly high in the spring and summer months. These higher pollen levels lead to inflammation in the nose, which can cause pain, irritation and discomfort.

Symptoms of hay fever can vary depending on how severe the allergy is. They usually include itchy and watery eyes, a runny nose, frequent sneezing and an itchy throat, usually resulting in a cough. If the reaction becomes more serious, other symptoms can present themselves such as headaches, earache, tiredness, facial pain and even a loss of your sense of smell.

What causes hay fever?

Hay fever occurs in most people when the pollen count reaches higher than 10 grains per cubic millimetre. At this point, the allergic reaction takes hold and the symptoms present themselves. Pollen levels increase as the weather becomes warmer, which is why sufferers can feel completely fine for ten months out of the year and only start to feel unwell again once spring and summer come back around.

Hay fever is most commonly a reaction to grass pollen, though it can also be an allergy to tree pollen (released earlier in the spring) or weed pollen (released in the early autumn.)

What can you do to reduce symptoms?

There are effective medications which can help ease your hay fever symptoms (more on that below) but what about the things you can do to reduce your discomfort?

Wearing wraparound sunglasses when outdoors can help protect your eyes from irritation. Hay fever also irritates your nose as well as your eyes, making the skin red and sensitive, so get into the habit of keeping a tub of Vaseline with you and use it to moisturise the skin around your nostrils.

Try to stay indoors as much as possible when suffering from hay fever, and keep the doors and windows shut. If you are going out, you should shower and change your clothes as soon as you return home. Also, try to vacuum your home regularly to remove any traces of pollen you might be bringing in with you.

By implementing these factors into your routine, you could significantly reduce your hay fever symptoms.

What treatments are available for hay fever?

For most cases of hay fever, antihistamines are the most common and effective form of treatment. These are available at any well-stocked pharmacy, though you should try to purchase the non-drowsy variety so that they don’t affect your daily routine. Nasal sprays and eye drops are also commonly use to ease symptoms of hay fever such as itchiness, watery eyes and a blocked or runny nose.

Express Pharmacy offers a range of treatments for hay fever, helping you to enjoy the spring/summer season without worrying about allergies

Express Pharmacy offers the fastest and most convenient way to access medication for hay fever. Our range includes For Fexofenadine, Nasonex, Telfast and Mometasone. To find out more about the right solution for you, why not call 0208 1230703.


Prepare Yourself for Hay Fever Season

Posted Sunday 15 May 2016 22:27 by Tim Deakin in Hay Fever and Allergy Relief

As we head deeper into spring and the prospect of summer comes tantalisingly close, many people will be celebrating the improved weather, the longer days and lush greenness that comes with the warmer months. But thousands of other people will be slightly more apprehensive about the onset of summer as the pollen count climbs and we enter into the worst period for hay fever sufferers.

It's estimated that there are more than 10 million people with hay fever in England. Yet understanding of the condition is not widely known. Hay fever is an allergic reaction caused when the body's defences overreact to a perceived threat. When a hay fever sufferer comes into contact with pollen the immune system reacts with the same severity as it would if confronted with a virus. The result is a release of chemicals to stop what the body believes to be an infection.

In real terms, these chemicals are released when pollen comes into contact with the lining of the mouth or nose and aggravates the cells. It is the response of the body's own immune system that causes the symptoms we commonly associate with hay fever - such as congestion, sinus pressure, a runny nose, watery eyes, swelling and increased asthmatic reactions.

So what is the pollen that causes such a strong reaction in those with a sensitive nose? Pollen is produced by male plants as a form of asexual reproduction, and it will usually be picked up by the wind or various insects before being deposited on female plants. This is called pollination, and is what allows seeds to grow. However, the release of pollen into the air also increases the likelihood of it coming to contact with humans - resulting in an allergic reaction.

There are around 30 different types of pollen that are known to cause hay fever. These fall into three broad categories: grass pollen, tree pollen and weed pollen. Grass pollen is the most common cause of hay fever in the UK and affects 90% of sufferers, while tree pollen hits 25% of those with hay fever. The pollen released by weeds such as mugwort and nettles can also cause a reaction but it is the rarest of the three categories.

As the time when plants are at their most active, the spring and summer months are when hay fever sufferers are at the greatest risk of falling foul of classic symptoms such as a runny nose and itchy eyes. In particular, the grass pollen count is at its highest from mid-May through to July.

Fortunately, there are a range of hay fever treatments currently on the market. Many of these come in tablet form, such as the antihistamines Fexofenadine and Telfast. Antihistamines provide fast relief in the event of a reaction and can counteract the worst of the symptoms by preventing the release of the chemicals that the body uses to fight pollen. Corticosteroid nasal sprays like Nasonex and Mometasone can also get to the root of the problem quickly, soothing the symptoms of hay fever. A pharmacist may even recommend the use of a nasal spray as a preventative measure.

It is important to always pay attention to the usage instructions outlined by your pharmacist and on the packet before using either tablets or nasal sprays. Taking a higher dosage can increase the likelihood of side effects such as drowsiness, nose bleeds and headaches.

If you've been suffering from hay fever and want to find the right course of treatment for you, then speak to your pharmacist for expert advice. Don't let hay fever ruin your Summer, take back control with the help of your pharmacist today.


10 Things You Didn’t Know About Hay Fever

Posted Monday 22 June 2015 22:15 by Tim Deakin in Hay Fever and Allergy Relief

As we delve deeper into the summer months for many this can mean watery, itchy eyes, sneezing fits and constant wheezing. Yes, for millions of people alongside the summer days comes the irritant that is hay fever. And with scientists predicting that this year will see more people suffering from the condition than ever, it’s surprising to find out there are still many things you just didn’t know about hay fever.

Here are 10 facts that may have passed you by, even if you feel the effects of hay fever on an annual basis.

1.) An estimated 25% of people suffer from hay fever in the UK

You certainly aren't alone if you are struck down by hay fever this summer. Around 16 million people are hit with the condition every year, and with predictions suggesting that this summer is going to be a bumper year for pollen, this figure could rise significantly.

2.) Hay fever, eczema and asthma are closely linked

Each of the three conditions are part of the umbrella term "atopy", which is used to describe the genetic tendency to develop classic allergic diseases.

3.) Hay fever is twice as common in towns and cities as it is in the countryside

It may come as a surprise to many, given the high pollen counts found in more rural areas, but more people actually suffer from hay fever in urban areas. This phenomenon is due to the fact that pollen particles bond themselves to the pollutants in the air - typically caused by exhaust fumes - and these combined particles are significantly more likely to set off the body's allergic reaction.

4.) There are different types of hay fever

Different types of pollen can affect different people at different times. The three main types are: tree pollen, grass pollen and weed pollen.

5.) Hay fever can be treated in a number of ways

Hay fever sufferers are often unaware of the range of preventative and remedial measures that can used to combat hay fever. Indeed, medications come in a number of different forms, including eye drops, tablets and nasal sprays - all of which have been shown to be highly effective.

6.) You needn’t wait for you GP to treat hay fever

Many people put up with debilitating symptoms of hay fever whilst waiting for a GP appointment. This can lead to periods of prolonged suffering, particularly in parts of the country where waiting times are high. However, there are a number of medications available over-the-counter without a prescription. Indeed, online pharmacies such as our own now offer hay fever medications that can be ordered from the comfort of your own home and delivered direct to your door.

7.) It runs in the family

Allergies like hay fever can be added to the list of things you blame your parents for giving you. Research has shown that if your parents suffer from allergies such as hay fever, there is an increased likelihood that you will suffer from the condition too.

8.) You cant blame the flowers for it

Contrary to popular opinion, pollen allergies can not be blamed on flowers. Pollen allergies are caused by airborne pollen - those that have been blown away from the plant itself. Pollen from flowers tends to be coated and sticky - in order for it to become attached to bees and other insects that aid in fertilisation - which means flowers usually produce little to no airborne pollen.

9.) Sunglasses could help

It may seem simple, but many people don’t think to pop on their sunglasses as a way of stopping pollen from getting into their eyes. Wraparound sunglasses can be particularly effective at keeping those airborne nasties away from your eyes.

10.) No one knew hay fever existed 200 years ago

in 1819 John Bostock, a Liverpool-born London doctor, first produced a paper on the condition called ‘Case of a Periodical Affection of the Eyes and Chest’ which was based on his own experience of the allergy. This marked the beginning of the recognition that hay fever was in fact a real condition.

Is hay fever effecting your summer? Explore our new range of allergy treatments

Comments

Neena Shingari on Friday 24 July 2015 07:29

A useful informative article.

Reply

Express Pharmacy Introduces New Hay Fever Medications

Posted Friday 19 June 2015 14:51 by Tim Deakin in Hay Fever and Allergy Relief

hay fever medicationHay fever is thought to affect one in four people in the UK. But this shouldn’t mean that a quarter of the population hide indoors during the summer months. In fact, there are a number of preventative measures and treatments available to ensure that pollen allergies don’t’ impact on your enjoyment of the sunny seasons.

At Express Pharmacy we recognise how frustrating it can be for a person to be landed with this allergy year after year. We’ve therefore introduced two new allergy treatments to alleviate symptoms and help you to experience the summer months in a whole new light:

Fexofenadine – this is a type of antihistamine treatment. The treatment works to block the effects of the chemical which causes symptoms of hay fever such as itching.

Mometasone – this treatment is a nasal spray, which helps to reduce the inflammation in the lining of the sinuses.

Don’t ignore your hay fever – treat it early!

Despite the debilitating effects of the condition many people simply choose to ‘put up’ with hay fever. But this shouldn’t be the case. The earlier you treat hay fever the easier it is to alleviate and bring symptoms under control.

Maureen Jenkins, Clinical Director of Allergy UK, says ‘Most people wait until symptoms start before they begin treatment, but the nasal spray needs to be started at least two weeks before symptoms appear, so that the medication is already in your system when pollen triggers your hay fever.’

However, because the condition can strike at any time, many people are unaware of its presence until symptoms arise. Thus, the first step is often simply being aware of what those symptoms are. They will often include:

  • frequent sneezing
  • a blocked nose
  • a runny and itchy nose
  • watery and itchy eyes
  • itchy throat
  • headache
  • wheezing and breathlessness

How does hay fever affect people?

Given this list of symptoms it is no wonder that hay fever can have such a negative effect on everyday life. Hay fever can affect sleep and thus overall concentration as sufferers often complain that symptoms tend to worsen at night.

Lack of sleep combined with the overall drowsiness and fatigue caused by the symptoms can serve to have harmful effects on work performance, too. This was confirmed in a study showing that hay fever came at a cost of more than £324 million to the British economy through lost working hours during the summer period.

Furthermore, scientists have warned that there could be a 33% rise in the number of people suffering with the condition this summer due to worsening conditions. With that in mind it is more important than ever to get the right treatment to avoid being caught out by pollen this year.

Hay fever needn’t ruin your summer, so why not give our new hey fever and allergy relief treatments a go?


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