Feeling sneezy, have a runny nose or itchy and watery eyes? Hay fever season is in full swing. Our Pharmacist's give their best tips for managing hay fever
There are a number of different products that we can recommend to help manage and treat hay fever. From oral antihistamine tablets, nasal sprays and rinses to eye drops. The wide variety of options allow us to customise treatments for our patients.
Oral antihistamine tablets are probably the most common option patients are aware of. They help to reduce inflammation in the nose, runny nose and sneezing for up to 24 hours. They may not be as effective as nasal sprays for managing severe nasal symptoms (blockage, etc). They are a very useful part of treating hay fever as you can take them when you need them rather than needing to take them regularly.
There are a number of different types of nasal sprays.
Saline nasal sprays help to moisturise and clear the nasal passages.
Decongestants are not the best option as it helps to dry up the nose but does not actively help with the inflammation. These nasal sprays should only be used for a maximum of 3-5 days in any situation as they can damage the lining of the nose. Patient's who have high blood pressure or are pregnant should also avoid decongestant nasal sprays.
Steroid nasal sprays help to reduce inflammation and can be used for a longer amount of time. These nasal sprays need to be used regularly (as directed by your pharmacist or doctor) to ensure their best effect is maintained.
Nasal rinses, as the name may imply, it rinses out the sinuses. These products are very beneficial in the management of hay fever, especially if patients also have asthma as they help to manually remove any pollen particles that have been inhaled into the nose and sinuses. This results in less pollen being inhaled all the way into the lungs and can help to manage asthma symptoms and exacerbations.
Itchy and watery eyes are also a symptom of hay fever and can be harder to treat than the nasal symptoms with oral antihistamine tablets and nasal sprays. Antihistamine eye drops can be very effective for treating eye symptoms and the redness they can cause. Additionally, moisturising eye drops can help relieve the symptoms of watery eyes and help to remove any pollen particles from the eyes.
The team at The Friendlies Chemist are the authors of this news feed.