26 May 2017
- What is Hay Fever?
- What are the causes of Hay Fever?
- Who's affected by Hay Fever?
- What are the symptoms of Hay Fever?
- What is Pollen?
- What is your allergy?
- How can Hay Fever be managed?
- What treatments are available for Hay Fever?
What is Hay Fever?
Hay fever is a familiar hypersensitive reaction which is prominent at certain periods of the year, mainly in the summer months when pollen count is at its highest. It is referred to as seasonal rhinitis, sharing symptoms with perennial (year round) allergic rhinitis, but ensuing as a reaction to pollen from grass, trees and plants during the early spring and summer months and can affect people of all ages.
What are the causes of Hay Fever?
It is instigated when the body makes allergic antibodies (IgE) tocertain elements, such as pollen, which are acknowledged as allergens. Pollen from grass is the most usual allergen, but and weed pollens which are apparent in the autumn and spring months can also ignite hay fever.
Who's affected by Hay Fever?
Hay fever is one of the most common allergic conditions, with an estimated 13 million people affected in the UK. Anyone can get hay fever at any age, although it often starts in childhood or in adolescent years. Gender wise, It tends to be more common in boys than girls as children. However In adults, men and women seem equally affected. People with a family history of allergies, particularly asthma (insert internal Asthma link) or eczema (insert internal Eczema link), are more likely to develop Hay fever than those who do not.
What are the symptoms of Hay Fever?
The symptoms of hayfever commonly include;
- Itchy eyes and/or throat
- Sneezing couple with a blocked/runny nose
- Watering, red eyes (allergic conjunctivitis)
- Headaches and blocked sinuses
- Shortness of breath
- Tiredness and fatigue
- The sense of mucus dripping down at the rear of the throat, which can also be a symptom called ‘post-nasal drip’.
These symptoms may become more or less severe depending on the pollen count.
What is Pollen?
Pollen is a delicate fine powdery substance discharged by plants as a fragment of their reproductive cycle. It harbours proteins that can result in the nose, eyes, throat and sinuses to become swollen, irritated and inflamed.
What is your Allergy?
Below is a definition of the different allergies we can experience throughout the year, some of which resonate similar symptoms to that of Hay fever.
- Birch: Mid- March to first week of June (peaks last week of March to mid-May).
- Plane: Second week of March to mid-May (peaks end of April to second week in May).
- Oilseed rape: Last week in March to mid-July (peaks mid-May to end of June).
- Oak: First week of April to mid-June (peaks end of April to first week in June).
- Grass: Beginning of May to middle of September (peaks first week in June to last week in July).
- Nettle: First week of May to end of September (peaks last week of June to first week in August).
- Mould: Early autumn and late spring. Symptoms are worse inside than outside. Dust: All year, but especially noticeable in winter when the inside heating appliances are on with symptoms subsequently worse indoors.
How can Hay Fever be managed?
Precautions can be taken to reduce the symptoms of hay fever by taking some basic protection measures, such as:
- Wearing wraparound sunglasses to prevent pollen irritating your eyes when outside
- Washing and changing clothes after being outdoors to rid of the pollen on your body. The blazer you wear to work most days could still be covered in pollen from the lunch hour you spent in the park the previous day.
- Avoid going outdoors when the pollen count is high (over 50 grains per cubic metre of air)
- Administer a little Vaseline to the nasal openings to ambush pollen grains
What treatments are available for Hay Fever?
Treatment for Hay fever will depend on how severe your symptoms are. Some Hay fever over the counter products known as antihistamines in tablet such as Clarityn or Zirtek allergy tablets can relieve symptoms such as itchy eyes. Steroid nasal spray treatments can help to prevent or reduce inflammation in the lining of the nose and some can help to relieve watery eyes. Types of nasal spray treatments include Flixonase, Avamys ,Nasonex and Dymista If you believe you are experiencing symptoms of hay fever then why not take our free Hay fever online diagnostic consultation and we will recommend the best products based on your symptoms and condition. There are three diagnostic consultations for Hay fever which are nasal spray, eye drops and tablet treatments