Hay fever advice from Honiton Surgery
SUMMER has arrived, t-shirts and shorts are coming out of the cupboard. Great news for most of us but possibly not if you suffer from hay fever. Hay Fever, or seasonal allergic rhinitis as it is sometimes called, is a very common condition causing symptoms such as a runny, itchy nose, sneezing, and itchy and watery eyes.
SUMMER has arrived, t-shirts and shorts are coming out of the cupboard. Great news for most of us but possibly not if you suffer from hay fever.
Hay Fever, or seasonal allergic rhinitis as it is sometimes called, is a very common condition causing symptoms such as a runny, itchy nose, sneezing, and itchy and watery eyes. It is usually caused by an allergy to grass or hay, although some people also experience problems with allergies to tree pollens. Symptoms start around May and continue through to July, recurring each year at roughly the same time. All ages may be affected although often symptoms subside a little as you get older.
Unfortunately if you are a sufferer you can't avoid exposure to pollens altogether. However, the pollen count is often announced on TV or radio weather reports, and when the count is high it can be advisable to stay indoors as much as possible and to avoid things like gardening or picnics and trips to the countryside.
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If you do have hay fever, there are lots of effective treatments available and a trip to discuss your symptoms with your local pharmacist can be very helpful. Commonly used treatments include nasal sprays, either containing antihistamines or a mild steroid; antihistamine tablets which can be taken as required or on a regular basis and eye drops. These treatments can be used separately or together depending on your symptoms. Occasionally people with severe hay fever will require additional treatment from their Doctor and if you have asthma, you may find that your asthma symptoms worsen during the hay fever season, which may also mean you require extra treatment from your Doctor.
It's always wise to be prepared so if you think you may be a hay fever sufferer, or you are uncertain about what treatment is best for you, why not go and seek some help from your local pharmacist or contact NHS direct for further advice (www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk or tel 0845 46 47)
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