Spring is in full bloom and we are all excited about getting our tan on and spending our days in the park or at a BBQ. However, what some of us might not be looking forward to is the arrival of hay fever; runny nose and itchy eyes along with continuous sneezing isn’t anyone’s idea of fun. Here at Lookfantastic, we wanted to tell you exactly what hay fever is and how you can avoid it on a beautiful summers day!
So what is hay fever and what causes it?
Rhinitis – is the inflammation of your nose
Allergic – caused by allergies
So simply put, it is when your body reacts to allergens. Allergens can be anything from pet hair, dust mites to pollen – which when inhaled act as a foreign particle in affected individuals. Hay fever is associated with allergies relating to grass, trees and weed pollens. Tiny pollen particles are windborne and are carried over long distances in the air. When inhaled the body wants to attack these particles just as it would against a cold virus and therefore produces antibodies against them. The symptoms of hay fever are part of this response and can vary in severity.
Sneezing, itching, a runny nose as well as itchy watery red eyes, none of which look great on a summers day!
More severe symptoms can include:
- Inflammation which causes a blocked stuffy nose and blocked sinuses which as a result can lead to headaches and difficulty sleeping.
- Severe hay fever can also have a major effect on quality of life. It reduces concentration and causes discomfort on daily basis.
- It can also aggravate asthma as inflammation of upper airways which causes problems with your breathing.
So what can we do to limit these symptoms and make the most of this beautiful weather?
- Look out for pollen forecasts and avoid high pollen days (normally warm and dry) and times (early morning and late evenings).
- Avoid triggers such as pets (can carry pollen in fur), keep windows and doors closed
- Can use air filters
- Barrier balms, nasal sprays, hats and sunglasses, hypo-allergenic eye makeup
There are quite a lot of different treatments available and people tend to respond to certain product which suits them. One thing I have always discovered with hay fever is that if one treatment doesn’t work – try another one and you are bound to see a change.
Another factor to keep in mind is to initiate treatment before you start showing symptoms especially if you are prone to severe hay fever and use steroid based nasal sprays (normally up to 2 weeks prior). This ensures that your body is ready and it also helps with minimizing the symptoms.
This innovative product is especially designed with sensitive skin in mind and with long lasting results it provides soothing and comfort throughout the day. The formula is enriched with Neurosensine, Glycerin and Shea Butter alongside La Roche-Posay thermal water which gives it unique formulation. It is also the only product in its kind to be actually certified by Allergy UK as suitable for allergy prone skin. So rub some of this on and you’ll be free to run in the grass this summer!
Alongside this clever cream, try:
- Nasal rinses – to help clear up nasal passage of any irritating pollen particles
- Antihistamines – to reduce production of histamine (best for mild symptoms – sneezing itchiness runny nose)
- Steroid nasal sprays – for treat inflammation / blocked nose (start up to 2 weeks before)
There is a new product on the market which targets moderate to severe called Dymista. It combines a steroid (fluticasone) and an antihistamine (azalastine). So far it has shown great improvement in patients so if you feel this can help you, please speak to your GP about it.
Another area to tackle is the eyes. Even though oral preparations and nasal sprays can improve symptoms, additional eye drops can help with runny and red itchy eyes.
If you would like any more information on any of the products mentioned or the condition itself then please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me @LFpharmacist.