What is Hay Fever?

Hay fever, or allergic rhinitis) is an allergic condition that is quite common in the UK, with over 10 million sufferers.

Symptoms

  • Runny or blocked nose
  • Puffy, itchy, red eyes
  • Sore Itchy throat, nose, ears and mouth
  • Coughing due to mucus running down the back of the throat
  • Frequent sneezing
  • Hay fever is known to make asthma worse
  • Occasionally sweating and headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of the sense of smell
  • Facial pain due to blocked sinuses
  • Earache

Causes

Pollen is the main cause of why people get hay fever. Most likely by grass pollen that pollutes the air from the end of spring to the beginning of summer. However, some people suffer from a tree allergy pollen, which is omitted in the air at the start of spring. Sometimes, it can be related to the pollen that is released by weeds and mould, which can trigger hay fever in suffers that can cause hay fever to last from early spring all the way through summer and into the autumn.

For hay fever to be triggered, the pollen count has to reach a level that ignites a response from the sufferer's immune system. Symptoms tend to vary throughout the season, as the pollen count increases and falls. As a rule of thumb, warm sunny days mean a high pollen count, whilst a cold damp day can mean a low pollen count. Unless the rain has followed a warm dry spell, which can temporarily drive up the pollen count.

Treatment

Hay fever is not something that can be cured, however, the symptoms of the condition can be reduced. The treatment is dependent on the level of symptoms, however, the following is what is normally used:

  • Antihistamines
  • Decongestants
  • Cromoglicate
  • Steroid Nasal Sprays
  • Saline Nose Sprays
  • Eye Drops

If the symptoms are mild then non-prescription medicines can be the right way to go, such as antihistamine tablets (which are available in non-sedating versions too). If the symptoms are sneezing and a runny or blocked nose then a nasal spray would be also helpful, in addition to the antihistamines or on its own. Eye drops are the best idea if you are suffering from itchy eyes. All of which are available on the site at the moment.