Hay fever – Our ultimate survival guide
As we move through Spring, many of us will suffer with the dreaded hay fever. Here we’ll discuss what hay fever is and how you can survive this Spring.
What is hay fever, and what causes it?
Hay fever (also called allergic rhinitis) is an allergic reaction in the nose to environmental allergens. Most commonly it is caused by pollen, but can also be caused by animal hair, dust, and mould. Most commonly hay fever arises during Spring due to the increase of pollen in the air.
Hay fever is when your immune system mistakes harmless things such as pollen as dangerous. Your body will produce antibodies to fight the substances, which trigger your body to release histamines. Histamines cause you to sneeze, itch, and have a runny nose to try and get rid of the things you are allergic to.
What are some common symptoms?
Common symptoms include:
Irritated and sore eyes
Itchiness in or sore nose, mouth or throat
Itchy skin and rash
Severe symptoms can also cause poor concentration or lack of sleep. Long term sufferers may also experience permanent damage to their airways.
While symptoms are similar to the common cold, hay fever is not contagious.
How can I manage my hay fever?
There are some steps you can take to manage your symptoms:
Stay inside on windy days or immediately after thunderstorms – especially during Spring
Check the pollen count before leaving the house, and avoid going outside on high pollen days
Wear glasses to protect your eyes from pollen
Use dustmite covers for your bedding, and frequently wash your bedding in hot water
Wash your hands after touching animals
Avoid strong odours and other irritants, as this can make hay fever worse
There is no cure for hay fever, but your pharmacist can help. There are a number of over the counter medications available at chemists that may help relieve symptoms. Come in and see our friendly staff at Galston Village Pharmacy for more information about the different options.