Hay fever, also known as allergic rhinitis, is a common allergic disorder that occurs when the immune system overreacts to certain allergens in the air, such as pollen. The symptoms can be seasonal (occurring during specific times of the year) or perennial (occurring year-round). Seasonal hay fever is usually caused by pollen from trees, grasses, or weeds.
Perennial hay fever is caused by allergens that are present year-round, such as dust mites, pet dander, and mold. Although the condition can strike at any age, people with a family background of allergies are more likely to experience it.
Hay fever cannot be cured, but symptoms can be controlled using a variety of medications both over-the-counter and prescribed, as well as lifestyle modifications including minimizing identified allergens and having windows closed during peak pollen seasons.
Signs and Symptoms of Hay Fever
Hay fever symptoms usually occur during specific seasons of the year, depending on the type of pollen or mold to which a person is allergic. People who are allergic to a common allergen may develop severe symptoms if the pollen counts are high. Sneezing, watery eyes, a stuffy nose, an itchy throat, coughing, headaches, nasal congestion, and weariness are typical symptoms of hay fever. Sweating, headaches, a loss of taste and smell, and face pain from clogged sinuses are examples of severe symptoms.
These symptoms can be similar to those of a cold or the flu, but they typically occur seasonally and are caused by allergens in the air. It’s also possible for some people to feel agitated and restless too. Once hay fever symptoms and signs are prevalent, people with asthma could wheeze and feel more out of breath than other people.
Causes of Hay Fever
Hay fever is caused by an allergic reaction to certain environmental allergens, such as pollen, mold, dust mites, and pet dander. These allergens are harmless to most people, but for some people, their immune system overreacts to them and produces immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies. These antibodies will then trigger the release of histamine and other inflammatory chemicals in the body
When the allergens come into contact with the person’s nose and eyes, they bind to the IgE antibodies, causing the release of histamine and other inflammatory chemicals. This will lead to the person developing hay fever symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, and congestion.
Hay fever can also be caused by exposure to indoor allergens, such as dust mites, pet dander, and mold. These allergens can be found in the home and can trigger hay fever symptoms all year round.
Hay fever is a genetic condition and runs in families and so if you have a family history of hay fever, you are at a higher risk of developing it.
Treatments for Hay Fever
Medication reviews are an important part of the treatment process for hay fever, as they help ensure that the medicines are working effectively and safely for the person. At Medicare Plus Pharmacy, we can conduct a confidential medication review with you to discuss your current hay fever treatment plan. They will also check for any possible drug interactions and side effects. They will also provide advice on the proper use of the medications and what to do if you miss a dose
The basic treatment advice for Hay Fever that our pharmacists, at Medicare Plus Pharmacy, may include in your confidential medication review session are:
● When pollen levels are at their highest and the wind is pushing pollen about, spend as much time as you can indoors.
● Whenever you’re outside, wear sunglasses or glasses to prevent pollen from entering your eyes.
● Avoid drying garments outside since pollen can stick to towels and linens.
● Minimize dust mite exposure in your house.
● Instead of dry-dusting or sweeping the floors, clean them with a damp rag or mop.
● If you have pets, make sure to wash your hands right away after petting them.
Overall, medication reviews at Medicare Plus Pharmacy can help to ensure that you are receiving the most effective and safe treatment for your hay fever, which in turn can help you to manage your symptoms better.