Spring is Hay Fever Season

As we know Spring time means the air dries out and temperatures increase causing plant growth, and flowers, trees and grasses to blossom. Although this is beautiful to look at, it can leave some of us miserable with hay fever due to the increased amount of pollen in the air. Pollen can travel large distances due to the wind and can also stick to your clothes. Hay fever, Allergic rhinitis or seasonal allergy, is caused by the nose and eyes coming into contact with allergens. Aside from pollen, allergens also include things like dust, mites, mould and animal hair. The symptoms usually come on quite quickly once contact with the allergen has been made.

The allergic reaction causes the inside of the nose to become irritated, swollen and inflamed, affects the back of the mouth, throat and can also trigger an asthmatic episode.

Immediate symptoms of hay fever are:

  • Itchy, runny or blocked nose
  • Itchy throat
  • Sneezing
  • Itchy or watery eyes
  • Symptoms of asthma include wheezing, breathlessness, cough and chest tightness

Symptoms that may develop later:

  • Congested nose
  • Snoring
  • Coughing
  • Blocked ears and decreased sense of smell
  • Sore throat
  • Dark circles, redness and puffiness in and around the eyes
  • Facial/sinus pain or pressure
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Poor sleep

Symptoms of hay fever can range from moderate to severe and will often persist if not treated properly. The best treatment is to avoid or limit exposure to allergens that trigger your symptoms by:

  • Staying indoors on high pollen count days
  • Drying sheets and clothes indoors
  • Wearing a facemask if you have to work outdoors
  • Showering and washing clothes after being outdoors
  • Keeping your grass short and maintaining outdoor areas
  • Exercising indoors

It may not be possible to avoid allergens altogether, so you may require one of the following treatment options:

  • Medications (antihistamines)
  • Intranasal corticosteroid nasal sprays
  • Decongestants
  • Allergy shots (immunotherapy)
  • Sublingual immunotherapy treatment (medicine you put under your tongue)

Hay fever is a manageable condition and usually responds well to treatment. If you think you may be suffering from this then book an appointment with one of our GP’s for an assessment to discuss your symptoms, suitable tests and treatment options.

Pro Medical SA

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