Beware, hay fever season is here!

 In Conditions

Allergic rhinitis, known commonly as hay fever, is an allergic reaction to pollen. Pollen is a very fine powder produced by plants and the pollen count is highest between late March and September. During this time, hay fever is at its worst.

Symptoms of hay fever include:

  • Sneezing and coughing
  • A runny or blocked nose
  • Itchy, red or watery eyes
  • Itchy throat, mouth, nose and ears
  • Loss of smell
  • Pain around your temples and forehead
  • A headache
  • Earache
  • Feeling tired
  • For people with asthma, additional symptoms include:
  • Having a tight feeling in your chest
  • Being short of breath
  • Wheezing and coughing

Pollen is characteristically different depending on the plant it is derived from and people can show differing sensitivity to each type of pollen. In spring, trees start to pollenate, followed by grasses at the end of spring or start of summer, and hay fever sufferers will begin to show symptoms depending on their sensitivities to these pollens.

Allergy statistics in the UK

  • Hay fever is one of the most common allergic conditions
  • It’s estimated that there are more than 10 million people with hay fever in England.
  • 1 in 4 people in the UK suffer from hay fever
  • 1 in 3 teenagers in the UK suffer from hay fever
  • 40% of patients with hay fever have (or will develop) asthma
  • 71% of severe hay fever sufferers reported higher than average stress levels
  • 75% of people reported they would prefer a natural hay fever treatment

How can you prevent hay fever?

The NHS suggests that the best way to prevent hay fever symptoms is to reduce exposure to pollen, so monitoring the pollen count from the Met Office and avoiding going outside when the count is high should be beneficial.

If you can’t avoid the pollen and are affected by the symptoms, then the most common treatment is to use oral antihistamines to try and control the allergic reaction, or corticosteroids to deal with the inflammation.

Hay fever is not curable and so people need to have treatments that aim to control the symptoms. Most treatments can be bought over the counter at a pharmacy.

The NHS does also suggest tips that could improve your hay fever without using medication. They suggest the following:

  • Wearing wrap-around sunglasses to stop pollen getting in your eyes when you’re outdoors
  • Taking a shower and changing your clothes after being outdoors to remove the pollen on your body
  • Staying indoors when the pollen count is high (over 50 grains per cubic metre of air)
  • Applying a small amount of Vaseline (petroleum jelly) to the nasal openings to trap pollen grains

Can Ashtons help?

We know allergies can be extremely stressful for patients, and this added stress can compound their ill health even further. Therefore Ashtons strives to offer a comprehensive range of allergy treatments to ensure symptoms can be managed effectively and ensure patient comfort.

The Allergy Treatments we offer include tablets & capsules, oral solutions, solutions for injections and sprays & drops. Our full range of Allergy treatments can be found on or Medical Supplies Website. For inpatients, hay fever treatments should be included on the patient’s prescription chart.


 

References

  1. http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Hay-fever/Pages/Introduction.aspx
  2. http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/health/public/pollen-forecast/
  3. http://www.nasalguard.co.uk/Allergy_Statistics_UK_a/267.htm
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