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Hay Fever

Hay fever is a problem that affects many people. Hay fever is caused by an allergic response to pollen. Pollen is a fine powdered grain produced by plants. Pollen is the male microgametophyte from seed plants. These male microgametophytes produce male gametes (sperm cells). When gametes are moved from the stamen of the plant (male) that they originate from to the pistil of a flowering plant (female), they can germinate (if a compatible species of plant and the pollen has reached the correct area), producing a pollen tube that transfers the sperm to the ovule containing the female gametophyte. At this point, the flowering plant may be termed pollinated. Some flowers have the ability to self pollinate. You can read more about pollen here (opens in new tab).

People with hay fever suffer an allergic reaction to pollen when it is inhaled through their mouth, nose, and into their throat. Not only does pollen affect the nose, mouth, and throat but people's eyes can also be affected. The eyes are affected because the conjunctiva, which is the pink tender area around the eye, is a much thinner membrane than ordinary skin. This means that pollen can transfer chemical constituents across the membrane of the eye much more easily than it could ordinary skin. This is what causes the eyes to be inflamed, feel sore, and often start to water.

Are hay fever symptoms bad this year? In just a few minutes you can fill out the hay fever consultation form.

One of the most common allergens is grass pollen. Those patients affected in summer are often affected by grass pollen.

Hay Fever

Most people suffer with hay fever during the spring and summer months. The televised weather forecast in the UK, and some weather websites often state the pollen count in terms of low, medium, and high. People suffering from hay fever can use the pollen count predictions to help plan their day as well as the treatments and precautions that may be required to reduce the impact of the symptoms associated with hay fever.

There are many symptoms of hay fever. The most common symptoms are having a runny nose, red and sore eyes, watering of the eyes, sneezing, coughing, and sometimes a general feeling of tiredness.

Hay fever is linked to other allergic conditions. Many people with hay fever may also have asthma and eczema. Patients with hay fever, asthma and eczema are often referred to as being atopic. The Cambridge Dictionary definition of atopic (opens in new tab) is caused by an allergy that can affect any part of the body, not just the part that touches the thing that causes the allergy.

What can I do to control hay fever symptoms?

There are several ways that you can improve the symptoms of hay fever without taking medicines. These include keeping your windows closed (especially in the early morning), wearing sunglasses to prevent some of the pollen getting into your eyes, putting a petroleum jelly substance such as Vaseline around the base of your nostrils to help trap pollen that may otherwise be inhaled, keeping the windows of your car closed when driving, and taking a shower after you have been outside as well as changing the clothes you have been wearing if outside at a time when pollen levels are high. Patients with hay fever often know to avoid specific triggers. Hay fever can be triggered by various kinds of pollen. Some pollen is created by grass, some by plants, and some by trees. Some patients are highly allergic to all types of pollen, and some are more severely affected by individual types. There are specific times of the year when grass pollen is at its highest and this tends to be in May, June, July and August, whilst there are other times of the year where tree pollen is highest, which tends to be in the springtime and early summer periods, in the March, April and May months. Note that some trees, for example, pine and lime trees, produce their pollen later than other tree species, often in the June to August months.

There are several treatments for hay fever that can be obtained from, or even your local community pharmacy. In some cases referral to a specialist service such as an immunologist maybe needed. There are some tablets and injections that can introduce modified forms of allergens to the body, which can create a response that desensitises the patient to a particular allergen, meaning that their future symptoms are not as severe as they once have been. Speak to your usual GP if you have tried many treatment options and are still suffering from severe hay fever symptoms.

Treatments for Hay Fever

There are several treatments for hay fever available from this online clinic. A commonly used medicine for hay fever is fexofenadine. Fexofenadine can also be used for allergies affecting the skin. There are two strengths available commonly for adult patients. The highest strength, which is 180mg in each tablet, tends to be used for adult patients that suffer with hay fever. Occasionally, under the supervision of a doctor, it is possible to combine two different types of hay fever treatments. This may include using a nasal spray along with a tablet, or to use two types of oral tablets. There are also eye drops available to support hay fever sufferers.

Thank you for reading this information article about Hay Fever. Please see the other information available from Trusted Treatments and see the medicines available for hay fever.

This resource has been last edited on 8th June 2021 by: Richard Neilson MPharm MBA MRPharmS MCIM.

This resource has been reviewed by: Pending Review.

Important Information

If your condition or symptoms require urgent treatment, please call NHS 111 by dialling 111 on your telephone. If you require emergency treatment, for example, if you or someone else has chest pain, has received an injury to the head, or has been involved in a serious accident, call 999 on your telephone immediately. If your condition or symptoms are not something that can be assessed remotely through the Trusted Treatments online doctor service, please make an appointment with your usual GP at the earliest opportunity. If your GP cannot offer an appointment in a timeframe that you feel is appropriate, call 111 on your telephone and seek advice, explaining your concerns. Read more about where to get help..

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