Hay fever is surprisingly common with around 10% -20% of the population suffering. What is particularly frustrating is as the weather starts to warm up and the sun comes out, so pollen count starts to rise. As it rises, so do the symptoms of those suffering from hay fever.
Grass pollen: high pollen count during May to July
Tree pollen: high pollen count during February to June
Weed pollen: high pollen count during June to September
Symptoms range from runny nose, itchy eyes and sneezing to sickness and exhaustion in more severe cases.
Hay fever is caused by your immune system over reacting to an allergen. In this case the allergen is pollen. Your body reacts to the pollen as a foreign body and wants to remove it, although it is in fact harmless.
Anti histamine Tablets, eye drops and nasal spray offer most people relief from their symptoms.
If you’re buying medications over the counter there are few things that you should make note . Tablets that contain Loratadine and Cetirizine are non-drowsy antihistamines great for tackling symptoms during the day.
Antihistamines that contain Chlorpheniramine and Diphenhydramine are drowsy, which are good to use if you need a good night’s sleep without sneezing.
Be patient with nasal sprays, for them to take their full effect you will need to use it regularly over a period of time. They work particularly well if you suffer from nose congestion during the season.
Itchy or dry eyes can quickly be solved with eye drops.
The hay fever injection is for the treatment of severe hay fever, and should be considered as a secondary stage of treatment for patients who have already tried other forms of medication.
The hay fever injection works by reducing the production of histamine. The injection does not cure hayfever, but it temporarily suppresses the immune system enough to take away the symptoms. Patients are injected in the buttock muscle and it only takes a few seconds. Whilst thie injection reduces the response to common allergens, it can also theoretically reduce the body's response to fight normal bacterial and viral infections too. This can be discussed at your appointment.
One injection is normally enough to last for a whole hay fever season. Sometimes two injections are needed within a few weeks of each other. It is not suitable for children under the age of 12.
Before having the injection for the first time, you will have a full consultation that will explain the potential risks and side effects, assess your current hay fever symptoms and management and carry out a quick medical assessment to make sure it is suitable for you.
If you are a suitable and wish to proceed the injection can be administered during the appointment.