Most people look forward to the summer months, and the hope of good weather and Barbeques, but for many hay fever sufferers it is a different story.
Hay fever is an allergic reaction caused by breathing in pollen particles or getting them in your eye.
The main symptoms of hay fever are:
- Itchy, runny nose
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Itchy throat and ears
- General feeling of being unwell
These reactions can be debilitating and interfere with everyday life – making it difficult for the sufferer to concentrate at work or school.
There are many treatments available – most of which may be purchased over the counter in your local pharmacy. The main treatment is the use of an antihistamine which can be administered in several different ways – as a tablet or syrup, in eye-drops or as a nasal spray.
One of the most popular treatments is cetirizine tablets – a once a day dose which causes little or no drowsiness. Cetirizine on its own may be sufficient to control the symptoms but if not, it is advisable to also use eye-drops containing an anti-allergic ingredient such as sodium cromoglicate to soothe itchy eyes. It is also possible to purchase from the pharmacy, following recommendation by your pharmacist, a nasal spray such as which contains a mild steroid. These products are useful in more severe cases and may be used for up to three months. This will control the nasal symptoms and may also help with itchy, watery eyes.
With the variety of products available over the counter at your local pharmacy and the help of the pharmacist with some practical advice it should be possible to control hay fever and enjoy the summer sun (if it returns!).
Always consult your pharmacist in relation to your individual symptoms.