Hay fever is a form of seasonal allergies. It’s not a serious condition like the flu, but it can come with some unpleasant symptoms.
Symptoms and How to Deal with Them
Some of the more common effects you’ll notice when you have hay fever are an itchy nose, nasal dripping, sore throat, swollen skin under the eyes, sneezing, coughing, watery eyes and fatigue. These are some of the same symptoms you get from most allergic reactions, from fevers and flu, so it’s easy to mistake hay fever for one of them. However, you can identify this particular allergic problem by when it manifests during the year. If it occurs at about the same time each year and usually around the summer months, then you can be pretty sure that it is hay fever. Some people will experiment aggravated hay fever symptoms in the fall, spring or summer, depending on what their environment is like.
Hay fever is usually triggered by being close to pollen from trees, grass or ragweed, so if you are going to be outside and around plants, you may want to use one of the recommended hay fever treatments. This allergy can also be triggered by pet dander or dander from pests. This is usually aggravated during winter months when you have to be indoors more often. Keeping a clean house is one of the better ways to deal with this trigger.
Treatments for Hay Fever
The most effective treatment is using antihistamines. These can treat your symptoms effectively and help you get back to feeling normal again. They won’t do much for your triggers, but they deal with the effects.
There is no need to see your doctor about hay fever if you are fairly certain that is what it is. You can save yourself a visit by simply going to your pharmacist and asking for antihistamines. If the pharmacist agrees that your symptoms are hay fever ones, then you’ll be given an effective antihistamine that can make you feel like you don’t even have hay fever anymore.
If it is pollen that is triggering the reaction, then your nose may start to inflame and become irritated. In that case, the pharmacist may recommend a nasal spray of some kind, usually a corticosteroid. This reduces inflammation and gets rid of the irritation, and you can use it every time there is a flare-up.
Depending on how severe your hay fever is, the pharmacist may recommend you take your medications each day as a preventative measure or take them after the symptoms start. People with milder symptoms who are less likely to be surrounded by triggers will usually be advised to take medication as a reaction to symptoms.
You can treat individual symptoms as necessary. Eye drops are effective treatments for itchy, irritated eyes, and that can help get rid of the puffy skin under the eyes as well since that is usually caused by irritation and rubbing your eyes to deal with that irritation.
You can also use nasal decongestants to treat a stuffy nose. This is particularly useful at night when your hay fever is triggered, and it blocks up your sinuses. You may not be able to sleep properly until you start using a nasal decongestant.
More involved treatment includes immunotherapy, which is months of treatment. If your hay fever is serious enough, your doctor may recommend that you undergo immunotherapy months in advance of hay fever season. That’s an extreme option, though, and most people will be able to cope with their heavy fever just fine by using one of the other treatment methods we have already covered.