Hay Fever Treatment

Hay fever is an allergic reaction to pollen in the air, which affects the upper airways. It affects about 20% of the UK population.

What is Hay fever?

Hay fever is an allergic reaction to pollen in the air, which affects the upper airways. It affects about 20% of the UK population. The medical term for the symptoms of Hay fever is called allergic rhinitis. You don’t have to be exposed to hay to have hay fever. Many people perceive it as a minor condition, but it can have a serious impact on the quality of life.

What triggers hay fever?

First antibodies are made that are directed towards a particular allergen that binds to specific cells of the body. If the cells come into contact with the allergen again, they respond by releasing substances like histamine.

Following substances are responsible for the allergic reactions seen in hay fever.

  • Environmental factors such as air pollution and cigarette smoking also make allergies more likely.
  • Outdoor allergens like pollen from trees, weeds, and grass and mold spores.
  • Indoor allergens like pet hair, dust mites, and mold.

How do I know I have Hay Fever?

Allergic symptoms arise due to the body’s over-reaction to a particular allergen. Symptoms are seen mostly in the spring and summer seasons.
There is a runny nose or a stuffy nose. If symptoms are more severe, the person feels weak and tired and may also have difficulty breathing. This is because of poor quality of sleep due to nasal obstruction. Sometimes, there are symptoms of watery red, itchy eyes, the eyelids are swollen, for which the medical term is allergic rhinoconjunctivitis. Other asthma-like symptoms like coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath can develop. People with hay fever don’t have a fever.

How can the doctor confirm the diagnosis?

Consult an allergist to help you find relief from your symptoms. The allergist takes a detailed history, the home, and work environments, if you have a pet at home, your family’s medical history, and the frequency and severity of your symptoms.
A skin test (either prick or scratch test, or intradermal test) where small amounts of suspected allergens are introduced into the skin can be done. It is the easiest, most sensitive, and least expensive method to identify allergens.2

What are the treatment options for a person with Hay Fever?

  • Avoidance of

Outdoor exposure:

  • Stay indoors as much as possible during the spring or summer seasons where pollen counts are at their peak.
  • Avoid window fans, wear sunglasses to avoid pollen into your eyes.
  • Avoid rubbing eyes or hanging clothes outdoors which can make your symptoms worse

Indoor exposure:

  • Keep humidity of your home low with cleaning done regularly
  • Reduce exposure to dust mites.
  • Keep windows closed with regular cleaning of the air conditioning unit.
  • Reduce exposure to pets

Medication

If symptoms can’t be controlled by avoidance alone, certain medications are recommended to reduce the symptoms

  • Intranasal corticosteroids: They significantly reduce nasal congestion, sneezing, itching, and a runny nose.
  • Antihistamines: They counter the effects of histamine which is responsible for causing the symptoms.
  • Decongestants: oral or nasal sprays.
  • Immunotherapy: in those who do not respond well to treatment with medications or experience side-effects from them.
  • Eye drops: to treat eye allergies.
  • Intramuscular steroids: Intramuscular steroid Triamcinolone is given in the buttocks in cases of severe hay fever.

Where can I get intramuscular Triamcinolone?

The injection is available in Renew Skin and Health Clinic in Lemington Spa. It is run by full-time qualified doctors. It is available as a 40 mg injection that covers the symptoms for 3 months. Interested clients can call or Whats app the clinic on +44 1926 422 454. The cost for the injection is currently £129.

Are there any serious side-effects of intramuscular Triamcinolone?

  • Treatment with intramuscular Triamcinolone can cause side-effects like raised blood pressure, water retention, skin rashes, and muscle weakness.
  • Other effects like breathing difficulties, abdominal pain, insomnia, and taste disturbance can occur.
  • Despite these side-effects, these injections help many people with their symptoms of severe hay fever for the entire season, either by providing relief from the symptoms or by reducing them.

Refrences

  1. [Internet]. Allergyuk.org. 2021 [cited 23 February 2021]. Available from: https://www.allergyuk.org/assets/000/001/574/Immunotherapy_Leaflet_original.pdf?1570613002
  2. Hay Fever (Rhinitis) | Symptoms & Treatment | ACAAI Public Website [Internet]. ACAAI Public Website. 2021 [cited 24 February 2021]. Available from: https://acaai.org/allergies/types/hay-fever-rhinitis
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