Hay Fever - What is it, and how do I prevent it?

As the summer months fast approach, as does the increase in pollen levels. These increased pollen levels can cause problems to individuals who suffer from 'Hay Fever'    

It is estimated by the NHS that 1 in 5 people within the UK (12 million people) suffer from Hay Fever. 

So What is Hay Fever -

  Hay Fever is an allergic reaction to pollen 

Pollen is the tiny oval grains that plants, trees & grass rely on to reproduce. Reproduction only happens when the pollen from flowers is transferred to other vegetation. For this to occur, plants rely on the wind to transport it.

This increase of pollen within our air means that individuals who suffer from Hay Fever have allergic reactions to this airborn pollen. This allergic reaction occurs when our bodies mistake the pollen as an 'invader' and our bodies take steps to keep the 'invader' at bay. 

Symptoms of Hay Fever 

  • Sneezing
  • Runny or blocked nose
  • Itchy / running eyes
  • Itchy nose, throat and roof of the mouth
  • Headaches

If you suffer from any of these in the months leading up to, and including summer, there is a possibility that you may suffer from Hay Fever. Fortunately, with such a large percentage of the population suffering from it, there are a number of preventative measures to help individuals. Below are a few suggestions - 

Stay Inside - Although not practical, staying inside on days when the pollen count is forecast as high, or at times when pollen is airborn will obviously lead to less allergies. Pollen counts are usually on the weather forecast in summer, and can be found on local radio and internet. It is usually agreed pollen is more likely to be airborn around midday, on sunny days, although this isnt guaranteed.

Medicines - There are a wide range of medicines available, all of which can be purchased from your local Peak or Tims & Parker Pharmacy. Some medicines are only available with a prescription, but our friendly Staff can offer you advice on this. 

1.Nasal Sprays - There are a variety of sprays that can be used if you find you suffer mainly in your nose from Hay Fever.

These can be decongestants, and used to prevent runny / blocked noses. They are only for occasional use, and shouldnt be used for more than a week, as they can make symptoms worse.

Or steroid sprays that can help prevent similar symptoms, but need to be used before symptoms have started. These are therefore for more frequent use, and should be used even if you are feeling well.


 2.Tablets - We also advise Anti-histamines to help reduce the sneezing & runny nose/eyes, but these will not help with a blocked nose. The increase of sneezing, runny eyes & nose is down to increased levels of histamines being released in your nose and eyes to combat the pollen. Anti-histamines therefore reduce the production of this.



3.Eye drops - Itchy or sore eyes can be treated with simple eye drops to help relieve the soreness.




For any more information on Hay Fever, or if you think you suffer / are suffering from it, pop into your local Pharmacy, and we will be happy to provide information and advise you on the best course of action. We offer a wide range of Hay Fever products at excellent prices.

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