What is Hay Fever?
Hay fever is an extremely common condition where airborne pollen triggers an allergic reaction in the sufferer. Up to one in five people are affected by it at some point in their lives. There are three different types of pollen which you may be allergic to, these are: tree pollen, grass pollen and weed pollen.
The pollen particles are released at different times throughout the year and sufferers generally find the time between late March-September to be the worst, as that is when the pollen count is highest. Unfortunately, there is no cure for hay fever. However, symptoms can be relieved with treatment and people may find that their hay fever begins to get better they get older.
Hay Fever Symptoms
Many symptoms of hay fever can be mistaken for the common cold, this is because there are a lot of similarities between the two conditions.
Common symptoms of hay fever include:
- Irritation of the eyes
- Sneezing or coughing
- Itchiness in the throat or ears
- Blocked nose
- Headaches or pains in your temples
- Watery eyes
Causes of Hay Fever
Typically, hay fever is an allergic reaction to airborne pollen, so if there is a high pollen count in the air your allergy symptoms will be much worse.
Dust mites and animal fur are other common causes of hay fever symptoms.
Hay Fever Diagnosis
Your doctor will perform a physical exam and ask you about your medical history to diagnose hay fever.
They may recommend a skin prick test to check for an allergic reaction after materials that can trigger allergies are pricked into your skin. Alternatively, they may give you an allergy blood test to measure your immune system's response to specific allergens.
Hay Fever Treatment
It is rare for hay fever to create any type of medical complication. Nonetheless, it can have an impact on the sufferer’s life and productivity at work or school. Hay fever can last weeks or even months, meaning it can become very frustrating, especially if symptoms such as a loss of smell or irritation begin to affect your daily life.
Avoiding pollen is the most effective way of getting rid of hay fever, but that is almost impossible as pollen is dispersed throughout the air that we breathe. The NHS recommend taking certain measures, such as using Vaseline around your nose, trapping pollen so it’s not inhaled, and showering or changing clothes as having been outside.
You can also buy air filters for your home which remove pollen particles and vacuuming regularly also helps to remove dust which may contain pollen. You should avoid working or being outside where possible.
You can also take antihistamines treatments such as tablets or sprays to relieve hay fever symptoms.
Buy hay fever tablets online
At Medicine Direct we offer free postage and packaging for all UK orders. Simply complete an online consultation and one of our doctors will recommend the best hay fever treatment for you.
You can order Telfast antihistamines from our pharmacy:
One tablet to be taken daily for the treatment of hay fever. Do not exceed the recommended dose.
Hay Fever Frequently Asked Questions
Antihistamine tablets may cause drowsiness in some people, but this side effect will not bother everyone who takes them.
Certain hay fever tablets, such as Cetirizine, are safe to be taken by children over the age of 6. Speak to your pharmacist or doctor of guidance if you are unsure.
Pharmacies are unlikely to sell pregnant women allergy tablets. However, certain brands may be suitable for women during pregnancy.
Nasal sprays or eye drops may be suitable alternatives, but you should still speak to a doctor about what medication is safe for you to use during pregnancy.
Yes, there are various tablets for hay fever which you can purchase over the counter.
Pollen season is in the spring and summer months.
Tree pollen season is between late March to mid-May. Grass pollen season runs from mid-May to July, and weed pollen season is from the end of June until September.
You should speak to a doctor if an over the counter treatment has not worked or is unsuitable for you.
A doctor will be able to recommend the most suitable allergy relief medicine for you to take.
If you are traveling to a destination with a high pollen count, then it is possible to get hay fever while on holiday.
Yes, pollen tends to travel more in warm, dry and windy weather conditions.
As a result, the pollen count is at its highest in the spring and summer months.
Yes you can, as long as each item is safe for you to take individually. There is no problem combining tablets, nasal sprays and allergy eye drops to control your allergy symptoms.
Normally, you will be instructed to take one tablet in the morning . Swallow the tablet whole with a glass of water. These tablets can be taken with or without food and generally start to work in 30 minutes.
These tablets work very quickly and should be taken when you need them. To prevent hay fever from occurring, take them throughout the pollen season.
You can take these tablets at any time, but they are most effective when taken first thing in the morning.
All antihistamines come with the risk of causing drowsiness, but this side effect will not affect everyone.
Most allergy tablets that you should take once a day will work in the same way, but different people can respond very differently to them. Some tablets may provide allergy relief to one person, while another person may experience no difference at all.
If you find one antihistamine to be ineffective, it is worth trying another.
Older forms of antihistamines that were used for insomnia and nausea can result in some dependency when used for extended periods of time. This is not the same as addiction.
However, newer versions of antihistamines that are taken once a day are safe for extended use. Please speak to a doctor if you are worried about developing a dependency.
If used correctly and only used during hay fever season, your allergy treatment will not diminish from extended use.
If you miss a dose, just take it as soon as you remember, as long as it is not almost time for your next scheduled dose. If it is, skip the dose you missed and continue taking your allergy medicine as normal.
Never double dose medication to make up for missing a previous one.
Most treatments for a hay fever allergy will begin with an antihistamine tablet you should take once a day. In some cases, your symptoms may be confined to certain areas, such as itchy eyes or a blocked/runny nose, which may mean you have a nasal spray or eye drops instead of the tablets.
If one tablet is not enough to alleviate your symptoms, add a nasal spray to the treatment programme. If this is still not enough, you can also add eye drops to your regime.
If this combined course of treatment is insufficient to control your symptoms, consider using a different brand of medication to see if it is more effective.
To effectively use a nasal spray, you should:
- 1.Blow your nose to clear your nostrils of mucus.
- 2.Remove the spray's cap and shake the bottle. If this is the first time you are using the spray, pump it to make sure it is working – a fine mist should come out of the end.
- 3.Breathe out and tilt your head forward.
- 4.Place the spray into one of your nostrils.
- 5.Place your thumb on the bottom of the bottle and 2 fingers on the top. Use the fingers on your other hand to close the other nostril.
- 6.Breathe in slowly and administer the spray. Do not breathe in too quickly as this may result in you swallowing the spray instead of inhaling it.
- 7.Repeat this process for the other nostril.
Do not blow your nose or breathe too deeply after using the spray, to make sure it is absorbed properly.
To receive the full benefit of the medicine, you should start to use a steroid nasal spray a few days before it is needed. You will then need to use it throughout the hay fever season to help to keep the symptoms at bay.
Nasal sprays work differently to steroid tablets, delivering the medicine to the exact area it is needed. As a result, smaller amounts of medicine are used and only a small amount is absorbed by the body.
Side effects of a nasal spray are minimal, but may include dry skin inside the nostrils, redness at the site of application and taste disturbances.
Medicine Direct have an experienced clinical team of doctors, pharmacists and dispensers, all of whom are based in the UK. All are fully trained and qualified to provide appropriate and considered care across all areas of treatment we have available at our online pharmacy.
This means that no matter which member of our team is assigned to your case, you can rest assured that you are in the hands of a highly skilled medical professional, who possesses the compassion and clinical expertise to properly advise you on the best course of treatment.
We are fully regulated
All of our doctors and pharmacists are fully registered with both the General Medical Council (GMC), MHRA and the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC). Each member of our team has also worked in various clinic settings in the past, such as community pharmacies and NHS hospitals.