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Hay Fever

Advice Not To Be Sniffed At.

Hay fever is caused by an allergy to pollen. The most common culprit is Grass pollen which affects those with allergies in June & July. Tree pollens are active in the Spring and weed and mould pollens are active in the Autumn. There has been a recorded increase in hay fever sufferers over the last one hundred years with it now affects one in four people in the UK.

With hay fever being affecting so many it is not normal practice to test for this allergy it is recognised by patient history. If you are normally fit and well throughout the year but in June and July you feel like you have a cold it is most likely that you now have hay fever. This can be treated very simply over-the-counter medication at your local pharmacy.

SYMPTOMS

Common Hay Fever Symptoms Are:

  • A runny, itchy and/or blocked nose
  • Sneezing
  • coughing
  • Itchy, watering eyes

If You Have Asthma You Might Also:

  • have a tight feeling in your chest
  • be short of breath
  • wheeze and cough

How To Treat Hay Fever

Many hay fever symptoms can be controlled with over-the-counter medication at your local pharmacy.

  • Vaseline can be used around your nostrils to trap pollen Available from your local pharmacy.
  • Steroid nasal sprays help to prevent or reduce inflammation in the lining of the nose and some can help to relieve watery eyes.
    Available from your local pharmacy.
  • Antihistamines help to relieve a runny nose, sneezing, itching and watery eyes. Some types of antihistamines make you drowsy and are best taken before bed. Newer antihistamines are less likely to make you drowsy and are a common choice for children and people with milder or occasional symptoms of hay fever.
    Available from your local pharmacy.
  • Decongestant nasal sprays and tablets are used to unblock the nose. They should never be taken for more than a few days at a time.
    Available from your local pharmacy.
  • Eye drops can be used to treat itchy or watery eyes.
    Available from your local pharmacy.

You should also consider:

  • Avoid cutting the lawn or walking through long grass
  • Fresh flowers in the home are lovely but can cause issue, avoid where possible
  • Pets can bring pollen into your home, consider the roaming space you give your pet.

If none of the above treatments are effective for you and your symptoms get worse please book an appointment to speak to a GP.

© East Cornwall Primary Care Network 2020

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Useful Links

NHS – Find your local Pharmacy
Met Office – Pollen forecast