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Many of you may fear the arrival of summer simply because you know that hay fever will come with all the sunshine. So what can we do to overcome this? Well we first have to accept it, once we have done this we can now actively seek advice from other suffers on the best course of action available.

 

Allergic rhinitis or more commonly known as “hay fever” is the inflammation of nasal airways caused by an allergic reaction to pollen.

There are different types of pollen you can have an allergy to:

  • Tree pollen, released during spring
  • Grass pollen, released during the end of spring and beginning of summer
  • Weed pollen, released any time from early spring to late autumn

 

These symptoms occur when the person is having an allergic reaction to pollen. Pollen is a fine power, which is released by plants as part of their reproductive cycle, the proteins found in pollen is what causes the symptoms mentioned below.

 

What are some common symptoms of hay fever?

 

While the severity of symptoms may vary from individual to individual, hay fever sufferers most commonly share the same symptoms, which include:

–        A blocked nose

–        Itchy and runny nose

–        Sneezing

–        Itchy and watery red eyes

–        Itchy throat

Less common symptoms of hay fever include:

–        Loss of smell

–        Headache

–        Face pains

Those who have suffered from hay fever can testify how uncomfortable it can make the most routine things to go through in life such as sleeping, work or school. Unfortunately the bad news don’t stop there, hay fever increases the risk of developing asthma.

 

“How can I find out if I am actually suffering from hay fever and not a common cold/flu?”

 

One simple indicator would be to look at the time of the year you think you are suffering from hay fever. If it’s the middle of winter then it’s unlikely, as most grasses pollinate during mid-summer from May to August.

Okay, it’s the middle of summer and your eyes are blood-shot red and you haven’t slept a tick for a week due to what appear to be the symptoms of hay fever. Not to worry, there’s an easy solution to find out whether you have hay fever, which is called the Skin Prick Allergy Test.

 

How is the test done?

 

Suspected causes of allergy (such as pollens, danders, foods, etc) are mixed with liquid to make a solution. A drop of each solution is then placed on the skin – usually the forearm. Up to 10 or 12 drops of different solutions may be placed on the skin. Then, the skin beneath each drop is pricked with a needle. This is usually painless as just the very surface of the skin is pricked. However, this is enough to let a tiny amount of solution into the skin.

The skin is then observed for a reaction. If a reaction occurs, it happens within 20-30 minutes.

– A positive reaction is when the skin under a drop of solution becomes red and itchy. Also, a white, raised swelling called a weal surrounds the red central area of any skin reaction. A weal takes about 15-20 minutes to reach a maximum size, and then fades over a few hours.

-A negative reaction is when the skin remains normal. This means that you are not allergic to the substance in the solution.

Suspected causes of allergy (such as pollens, danders, foods, etc) are mixed with liquid to make a solution. A drop of each solution is then placed on the skin – usually the forearm. Up to 10 or 12 drops of different solutions may be placed on the skin. Then, the skin beneath each drop is pricked with a needle. This is usually painless as just the very surface of the skin is pricked. However, this is enough to let a tiny amount of solution into the skin.

The skin is then observed for a reaction. If a reaction occurs, it happens within 20-30 minutes.

– A positive reaction is when the skin under a drop of solution becomes red and itchy. Also, a white, raised swelling called a weal surrounds the red central area of any skin reaction. A weal takes about 15-20 minutes to reach a maximum size, and then fades over a few hours.

-A negative reaction is when the skin remains normal. This means that you are not allergic to the substance in the solution.

“I have hay fever, what can I do to treat it?”

Thankfully there are a multitude of treatments for hay fever, and some of them actually work to alleviate the discomfort caused by hay fever. Out of all the treatment methods, the following are deemed by many to be the most effective:

 

Antihistamines

Scientifically proven, and relatively inexpensive, antihistamines offer a cheap and effective way of managing the symptoms of hay fever.

How it works:

Hay fever occurs when the immune system mistakes pollen as harmful and produces histamine, a protein that protects the body’s cells. It causes blood vessels to expand and skin to swell. Normally this allows immune system cells to be sent to the site of an infection. But in an allergic reaction it triggers uncomfortable symptoms. Antihistamines block the histamine.

 

Anti-inflammatory nasal sprays and nose drops (usually containing steroids)

Which reduce inflammation in the delicate lining of the nose. These should be taken daily for the best results

 

However its not all bad many people find that their symptoms improve, as they get older.

Normally “Your not alone” may sound like a –line from a film or song but seriously guys there are many suffers and if you are someone that has found peace with their allergy then please share anything you may feel useful to our members.

 

If you need more information the sources below have plenty of good information.

http://www.nhs.uk

www.allergy-clinic.co.uk

bbc.co.uk

 

LETS SHARE!!

 

Thank you

from Opling

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One Response to What to do to help reduce hay fever?

  1. Good article.

    As a long suffering “victim” of pollen, I would have to agree with the points made above. In my experience, once there are high pollen levels in the air, a sufferer is only able to manage the effects.

    To get a daily “heads up” forecast of pollen levels in the UK, I’ve found this to be a useful (and accurate) site
    http://www.netweather.tv/index.cgi?action=pollen;sess=

    As mentioned in the article, there are a range of medications available through the NHS and over the counter. I, however, took an alternate route to reducing the effects of pollen levels on my body. Over the years, I have tried complimentary treatments such as acupuncture and herbal medication. I believe that we must first understand our bodies better and the effects of pollen levels. Thereafter, we can attempt to reduce the impact of pollen levels with the ultimate aim to rid our lives of hayfever completely.

    Bharat

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