If You’re Someone Who Really Suffers…
“In order to prevent some of the worst symptoms from occurring, try to avoid contact with pollen whenever possible by keeping away from parks and gardens – mainly when levels are at their highest in the morning and night,” says Dr Clare Morrison of Medexpress. “If you do start to really suffer, have a shower and change your clothes once you get inside. It sounds simple but this small act alone will rid any unwanted pollen particles. In severe cases, a visit to your GP may even result in an injectable steroid, with results lasting for a good few weeks, possibly the entire hayfever season. But it’s worth noting these steroids can cause side effects, including weight gain, dyspepsia, raised blood sugar, and osteoporosis (weak bones). I also recommend Fexofenadine for tablets too if you really suffer, it’s a brilliant non-drowsy option,” she confirms. Or, invest in one of these best-sellers below.
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If Symptoms Are Mild & You Prefer A Natural Remedy…
Experts agree that some natural remedies, such as quercetin (a plant pigment found in plant foods) can help to inhibit the release of histamine, preventing allergic reactions. You’ll find it in foods such as apples, grapes, leafy vegetables, green tea and also in a variety of supplements. Another herb recommended by experts and doctor’s is the nettle leaf, for its powers in combatting symptoms associated with all allergies, not just hayfever.
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If You’d Like To Prevent It Early…
“It’s been said that eating honey in advance of hayfever season can help de-sensitise pollen allergies because it contains pollen itself, allowing the body to build up a tolerance naturally,” says Clare. “If you want to try it as a prevention technique, it’s best to eat honey that has been made locally as it will have a variety of pollen sources.” Make sure you start consuming it regularly at least three months prior to peak season, which is said to be from late March through to September.
If Your Children Suffer Too…
“Eye drops, nasal sprays and antihistamine syrups are now suitable to treat symptoms in children too and most come in non-drowsy formats,” says Lloyds Pharmacy Pharmacist, Matt Courtney-Smith. “Cetirizine is a great option as it’s non-drowsy and it also helps to give you relief from other allergies including pets, house dust mites, and skin allergies including rashes, itching and hives.” Children over the age of two can take liquid cetirizine. “If you’re still struggling to get your child’s symptoms under control with over the counter medicines, it’s worth consulting your pharmacist and asking about corticosteroids for persistent nasal congestions.”
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If You’ve Tried Everything, With Little Success…
“If you find your resistant to most typical treatments, there are other things you can do to help reduce symptoms,” says Matt. “Try keeping your windows closed – even at night and when you’re driving in the car. This may not sound like a deterrent, but it will definitely help you to avoid coming in to contact with pollen. It’s especially important in the early morning and evening when pollen is released. It rises during the day with hotter air, before falling as it cools down again come evening. I recommend wearing sunglasses too and avoid drying clothes and bedding on your washing line when pollen count’s high, you’ll just bring it into your home and exacerbate symptoms. Another simple hack is to put a smear of Vaseline inside each of your nostrils to ease soreness and stop pollen from spreading up your nasal passage.”
Three Essential Need-To-Knows From Lloyd's Pharmacy Pharmacist Matt Courtney-Smith:
1. Know The Difference Between Perennial Or Seasonal
“Seasonal allergic rhinitis (hayfever) is a reaction to airborne substances like pollen, with symptoms usually appearing in childhood and lessening by the age of 30 or 40. Perennial allergic rhinitis however is similar, but instead occurs all year round and is caused by things like house dust mites and pets, so this type of allergy doesn’t sneak up come spring, it’s year-round.” If you fall into this category, speak to your doctor. Although treatment is similar to hayfever, they may have other options that can help to counteract the ongoing effects so as you’re not constantly suffering.
2. Find Out If You Require A Multi-Method Approach
“Most people require more than one method these days to treat and manage the condition, and no one is better placed than them to recommend you the best eye drops, nasal sprays or antihistamine tablets. They’ll know exactly what works well together in unison too, and what’s best suited to you and your needs.”
3. Try A Few DIY Tricks
“While it’s easier said than done to try and avoid the allergen, there are a few things you can do yourself too to ease symptoms. Depending on the cause, this could be done by using humidifiers, limiting pets to just some rooms, hoovering frequently, washing bed linen on a high heat or even investing in a good air filter that can be used inside the home to prevent anything from entering and settling.”
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