Hay Fever & Allergy Relief

Allergies and hayfever are not just limited to the summer.  If you are a sufferer due to pollen, mould spores or other allergens make sure your medicine cabinet is stocked with all the essentials to keep your symptoms under control.  Classic symptoms of hayfever include sneezing and coughing, a runny or blocked nose, itchy eyes, tiredness and sometimes a headache.  Travelpharm stock a great selection great value capsules, eye drops, tablets and sprays to control even the most stubborn hayfever.  For more ideas on tackling the issue see this article, What do I do against hayfever?

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What is hay fever?

“An allergy caused by pollen or dust in which the mucous membranes of the eyes and nose are inflamed, causing running at the nose and watery eyes.” 

English Oxford Dictionary


What is Hay fever?

A runny nose, itchy eyes, a headache and feeling tired. Spring and summer don’t just bring better weather, they also kickstart the hay fever season, causing such symptoms.  The season can start as early as February and last well in to October!  That's not good news for those who are sufferers.

Hay fever is another name for a pollen allergy. Throughout most of the year, even in autumn, all flowers, grasses and trees release pollen. If you are allergic to pollen it means that the mucous membranes in the nose, eyes and throat recognise the pollen as hostile invaders. Your body’s defence mechanism will kick in, making your nose run, your sinuses block up and your eyes water.  Very unpleasant.  

As the hay fever season lasts for several months it can mean the membranes can get quite irritated, causing red eyes, a sore throat, and even itchy ears.


What can I do to prevent or treat Hay fever?

Luckily there are several remedies to help against hay fever or to offer relief from its symptoms. Most commonly known are the antihistamines. These should be taken every day during the season, even when you are not experiencing any symptoms. The most common antihistamines contain loratadine and cetirizine. These are part of the ‘new’ generation of antihistamines, that are non-drowsy.  Although in some people you may experience a little drowsiness.

To help against itchy eyes and a blocked nose there are several nasal sprays (steroid and non-steroid based) and eye drops available. They will mainly work to lessen the symptoms, and some nasal sprays and eye drops will help prevent further irritation. They help reduce the swelling of the mucous membranes, which causes the congestion in your nose, and some will alleviate symptoms by flushing out irritants for example Sterimar.

At home, it is key to leave pollen where it is meant to be: outside. Take a shower and wash your clothes when you have been outside. Don’t sleep with the window open, and when you do air your bedroom, keep your pillows in a different room. This prevents pollen from settling on your pillow, where they can easily be inhaled once you go to sleep.


Hay fever on holiday

As previously mentioned, hay fever happens because the body recognises certain types of pollen, and acts accordingly. If you are going abroad, it is very probable that you will be in an environment with plants, trees or flowers that you don’t commonly see at home.
This may mean that your body will not recognise the different pollen these plants release,  reducing your symptoms whilst on holiday.  Conversely, it could also cause a flare-up of your hay fever. Sometimes even people who have never experienced any allergies can react to pollen abroad.
Avoid any discomfort while travelling by making sure you have packed some allergy tablets and possibly a nasal spray or eye drops. This is especially important in countries where you don’t speak the language or where they use a different alphabet, as it might be difficult to get certain medicines.
Though uncomfortable, hay fever is not dangerous, and you don’t need to worry too much if you experience these symptoms. You can take precautions at home and on the go, so there is no need to let hay fever prevent you from travelling the world!