Allergic rhinitis is an autoimmune condition so symptoms occur when the immune system overreacts to a normally harmless substance ie pollen. When the body encounters an allergen cells in the lining of the nose , mouth and eyes releases histamine triggering symptoms of an allergic reaction.
Hayfever may cause serious symptoms if left untreated. Total nasal obstruction may cause sleep apnoea, frequent sinus infections , interference with daytime breathing and ear infections. Symptoms are likely to be worse if the pollen count is high.
People suffering from hayfever need to try to reduce exposure to triggers such as pollen and dust. Treatment in advance of first symptoms is an important aspect of management of hayfever. For example starting treatment in April prior to the normal summer increase in pollen count. There are many treatments available to treat the symptoms. These include antihistamine tablets, nasal sprays and eye drops. Some can only be prescribed by a GP but many are available over the counter in pharmacies. Antihistamines are the most frequently used oral medicines for the treatment of hay fever. Many available without prescription. They are effective in relieving eye symptoms,running nose,sneezing and nasal irritation. There are two main types of antihistamine first generation and second generation.
First generation can cause drowsiness and dosage is not very convenient for patient. Patients have to take them few times per day but sometimes they are more effective than once daily formulations. Examples OTC include Piriton and Phenergan.
Interesting fact -paramedics carry tablets and injections with chlorphenamine maleate which is Piriton. This medication is used to treat anaphylaxis and severe allergic reactions in case of emergency.
Second generation of antihistamines is easier to take for patients as they are once daily formulations.
Recently some medical devices were developed to help sufferers. Company called Nasal medical created Allergy Nasal Filter. You can check it on their website.
Disclaimer: Information in this blog should not be treated as a medical advice. If you have a medical concern you should consult your doctor or visit your chemist. For any urgent medical problems ring 999 or 112 immediately.