Hay Fever & Allergy Information

All about HAY FEVER

The medical term for hay fever is seasonal allergic rhinitis. Rhinitis simply means inflammation of the inside of the nose. Approximately 1 in 5 people in the UK suffer from hay fever.

The symptoms of hay fever are caused when a person has an allergic reaction to pollen - a fine powder released by plants as part of their reproductive cycle. Pollen contains proteins that can cause the nose, eyes, throat and sinuses (small air-filled cavities behind your cheekbones and forehead) to become swollen, irritated and inflamed.

How to prevent hay fever

Hay fever often runs in families and usually starts in the early teens, with symptoms peaking in the 20s. But it can happen to anyone at any age. The good news is that symptoms often improve with age. And in up to 20% of people the symptoms go away completely.

It is sometimes possible to prevent the symptoms of hay fever by taking some basic precautions, such as:

  • wearing wraparound sunglasses to stop pollen getting in your eyes when you are outdoors
  • change your clothes and take a shower after being outdoors to remove the pollen on your body
  • try to stay indoors when the pollen count is high (over 50).

How to treat hay fever

There is currently no cure for hay fever but most people are able to relieve symptoms with treatment, at least to a certain extent. Treatment options for hay fever include antihistamines, which can help prevent an allergic reaction from happening and corticosteroids (steroids), which help reduce levels of inflammation and swelling. Decongestants such as Otrivine® Allergy Relief 0.1% Nasal Spray can help treat the nasal symptoms of hay fever, specifically nasal congestion.

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