With the recent weather being so awful – I was in a quandary as to whether to write about Chilblains or Hayfever. However, given that I have had some lovely sunshine and I have seen daffodils and crocuses everywhere I decided to go with the Hayfever!
Hayfever, or allergic rhinitis as the medical term puts it is a misleading name for the condition: symptoms aren’t confined to hay gathering time in autumn and it never includes a fever!
It’s actually an allergic reaction to airborne substances, such as pollen, that invade the nose, throat, sinuses and eyes. Some people suffer from symptoms all year round (perennial allergic rhinitis) set off by house mites or a reaction to pet hair.
The symptoms of Hayfever are easily recognisable:
- Itching and watering eyes
- Frequent sneezing
- Blocked or runny nose
- Irritation to the roof of the mouth
- Burning sensation in the throat
Luckily there are plenty of medicines that can be used to relieve the symptoms, many available from pharmacies with needing to see a doctor. The treatments can be divided into four main groups:
They come in a variety of sprays, drops, syrups and tablets so if one type isn’t working there are plenty of others to try. Immunotherapy or desensitisation therapy is also available through the NHS but this tends to be reserved for the most serious cases.
Most Hayfever sufferers cope well with their allergies but recognition and support always help. Remember, Hayfever isn’t infectious!