Up to 20% of people are affected by hay fever at some in their lives.
Hay fever occurs when affected people experience an allergic reaction to pollen.
Pollen is fine powdery grains released by plants as part of their reproductive system. When these tiny grains come into contact with your eyes, nose, mouth and throat, they can trigger an immune response causing the body to react with swelling, irritation and inflammation.
Common symptoms include sneezing, coughing, blocked or runny nose, itchy eyes, throat, mouth, nose and ears etc.
Hay fever is generally seasonal as many experience symptoms when the pollen count is high. This usually occurs between March and September.
There’s no cure for hay fever but one can minimise or alleviate symptoms. Avoiding pollen exposure is key to minimising side effects.
Tips on how to treat hayfever:
• put Vaseline around your nostrils to trap pollen
• wear wraparound sunglasses to stop pollen getting into your eyes
• shower and change your clothes after you have been outside to wash pollen off
• whenever possible stay indoors
• keep windows and doors shut as much as possible
• vacuum regularly and dust with a damp cloth
• buy a pollen filter for the air vents in your car and a vacuum cleaner with a special HEPA filter
At My Net Doctor, we have a variety of treatments for hay fever including antihistamines. Antihistamines work by inhibiting the release of a substance called histamine which affects the cells in your body. This substance is released when the body detects something harmful. It causes inflammation (where your blood vessel expands and the skin swells). This mechanism protects the body.
However, in those who have allergies the body mistakes something harmful, in this case pollen. It produces histamine as a result causing symptoms such as a runny nose, sneezing and rashes.
Antihistamines stop this process from occurring and it is advised that you take them before you come into contact with the substance you’re allergic to. Or they can reduce the severity of symptoms if taken afterwards.
Antihistamines come in several different forms – including tablets, capsules, liquids, syrups, creams, lotions, gels, eye drops and nasal sprays.