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Hayfever symptoms and treatments

Many people look for some form of relief from the irritating symptoms of hay fever. Remedies range from antihistamines to complementary remedies. However, as everyone reacts to pollen in slightly different ways, you may need to try a few treatments before finding the one which is most effective for you. 

Hayfever symptoms arise because of an excessive production of histamine by the immune system, in response to an allergen (allergy causing agent) such as pollen. This is the basis for the use of antihistamine tablets, liquids or sprays as the main conventional method for treating hay fever. Antihistamines stop the release of histamines by the immune system. They are readily available in pharmacies and supermarkets and can relieve symptoms such as itching or watery eyes and nose. 

However, many antihistamines have the disadvantage of causing drowsiness - and if you are so affected, you should not drive or operate machinery. In addition, antihistamines are not able to help you if you suffer from a blocked nose.


Get your free Pollen forecast app


This free A.Vogel app for iPhone and Android gives you daily information on
the latest pollen in the air during the hayfever season.
The pollen forecast can be viewed using your GPS location or you can choose from around 350 different locations in the UK.
We show pollen forecasts for tree, grass and weed pollen.
In "My location" you can determine which locations you wish to continue viewing the forecast for. The app also includes the option to find your nearest stockist of Pollinosan, the A.Vogel solution for hay fever. Just press and call your local store. 

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Non-drowsy herbal remedy

If your eyes or nose are itchy, puffy, runny of blocked, if you can’t stop sneezing (especially first thing in the morning) or you can’t see properly due to irritated, watery eyes, Pollinosan Hayfever tablets are a natural combination of herbs, including luffa which are no-drowsy and work quickly to relieve the symptoms of hayfever.

Antihistamines taken orally can be helpful for many symptoms, sometimes specific treatment for the eyes may be necessary. This is especially so if your hayfever symptoms are mainly itching or swelling of the eyes.

Eye drops for hay fever can come in two forms:

Drops - containing the chemical sodium cromoglycate.
This works by desensitising a specific type of cell in the immune system, reducing its ability to react to pollen.
Eye drops - containing hyaluronic acid.  These help to wash away pollen by working with the natural tear secretion in the eyes. In general, eye drops can be used together with any medicine taken orally for hay fever.
Steroids - work by dampening or lowering the body’s immune response. This is why, if you are prone to infections, you should not use this class of medicines. Hayfever steroid treatments are available in a number of forms:
Steroid nasal sprays. These can be useful if your hayfever gives you a blocked nose 
Steroid tablets. These are prescribed by doctors if hay fever symptoms are severe. In these situations, in addition to the usual hay fever symptoms, you may be complaining of tiredness, fatigue or itching throughout the body.
Other nasal sprays For those people who prefer to avoid the use of steroids,‘Non-steroidal’ 
nasal sprays are available and are especially useful for blocked noses caused by hay fever.
They work partly by ‘irrigating’ or ‘washing out’ the nasal passages and in this way, free up blocked nasal passages. Hayfever nasal sprays also have the advantage of getting rid of any pollen lying on the surfaces of the lining of the nose.
Complementary medicine
A wide range of treatments is available under this umbrella, ranging from herbal medicines to acupuncture and beyond. Complementary treatments which can help relieve hay fever symptoms include:
Acupuncture – this form of treatment originated from China and is now widely available for treating a variety of health conditions, including hay fever
Herbal or homoeopathic remedies – Many homoeopathic remedies are derived from herbs and these have been used traditionally to treat a number of health conditions including the relief of hay 
fever.

Symptoms

Hayfever can cause a variety of symptoms in the nose, throat and eyes. Hayfever is caused by an allergic (or abnormally strong) response to pollen coming from grass, flowers and trees. It is sometimes descriptively referred to as ‘pollinosis’ – inflammation due to pollen.

Hayfever is part of the group of conditions known to doctors as allergic rhinitis, which can be defined as allergies to airborne substances causing inflammation in the nose (rhinitis) and also the eyes and throat.

Symptoms of hayfever are extremely variable. One can be very troubled one spring and experience little or no symptoms the next year. Symptoms may also vary from one month to another for no apparent reason. Of course, the weather can be responsible for some of this fluctuation. Another factor is the type of pollen one is allergic to:

  • Tree pollen tends to affect people in spring
  • Grass pollen affects people in late spring and summer
  • Weed pollen can be found at high levels in late summer and autumn

People suffering from hayfever can also display allergies to animals (animal fur, hair or dander) and dust mites. In addition, they will also have a greater tendency to suffer from asthma and eczema.

Common Symptoms

People suffering from hayfever over-react to the presence of pollen settling on the tissues of the nose, throat and eyes. An inflammatory reaction is triggered and histamine is released. In the main, histamine is responsible for the symptoms of hayfever such as 

  • Itching or watery eyes
  • sneezing
  • Itching in the throat or nose
  • Blocked or runny nose

When hayfever is severe, other symptoms can develop including:

  • Headaches and other pains in the face – this occurs when inflammation blocks the openings of sinuses, leading to an increase in pressure inside sinuses
  • Loss of smell or taste – when inflammation affects the top of the nasal passages, the nerves giving us our sense of smell become ‘blocked’ and work less efficiently. This is the same situation as when we lose our sense of smell when suffering from a cold.
  • Dry cough – this occurs when inflammation of the respiratory tract begins to irritate your throat.

In general, hayfever symptoms are not life-threatening. But they can be very debilitating and may affect your lifestyle severely. Someone with hayfever tends to stay indoors when the weather is good, unable to enjoy the sunny, dry days of summer.{tab Effects on the Body}For most people, the inflammation caused by hayfever is localised to the eyes, nose and throat. However, in severe cases, the inflammation triggered by hayfever can sometimes affect the entire body.When this happens, a number of symptoms may arise including:

  • Feelings of tiredness or lethargyItching all over the bodyA general feeling of irritabilityIn addition, those suffering from hayfever may exhibit a greater tendency for developing:
  • Asthma, with symptoms of shortness of breath and wheezing
  • Eczema, itching, dryness and scaling of affected skin

People more likely to suffer from hayfever will have a tendency to over-react to normal, everyday substances such as pollen. You will be more likely to experience hayfever if you are:In your teenage years / during adolescence Male Asthmatic or if someone in your family has the conditionSuffering from eczema or if someone in your family has this tendencyLive in a house with smokers.



 

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