What is the best way to treat hay fever?
There are so many different kinds of hay fever treatments out there that it can be difficult to know where to start, so today we’re going to break it all down so you can decide exactly which product is the best choice for you.
We’re going to look at all of the different types of hay fever relief, what they do, who they’re for, and how they can make your symptoms more manageable.
There are four different types of hay fever remedies; tablets, syrups, nasal sprays, and eye drops.
We’re going to take a look at each one in turn, so let’s get started with hay fever tablets.
One of the most popular methods of treating hay fever is hay fever tablets.
Most modern hay fever tablets only need you to take one tablet every day to be protected against all of your symptoms, making them one of the most convenient ways to tackle hay fever.
If you’re going about your day and suddenly find that your hay fever symptoms are getting the better of you, you can simply take a hay fever tablet and watch those annoying sneezes, itches, and coughs go away fast.
Hay fever tablets are great and lots of them can be used by children over the age of 5 or 6, making them favourites for the whole family.
But how do hay fever tablets work? Well, most hay fever tablets contain clever little ingredients called antihistamines, so let’s take a look at what they are and what they do.
What causes hay fever symptoms?
So, to explain how antihistamines make your high pollen days a whole lot nicer, we’ve first got to take a look what happens in your body when you experience hay fever symptoms.
If you have hay fever, it means that your body reacts to pollen in a way that causes symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, red and watery eyes, and itching.
This is because your body thinks that pollen is a virus and it’s trying to fight it off.
When you come into contact with pollen, your body starts to product a substance called histamine, which is the thing that causes your allergic symptoms.
Histamines tell different parts of your body, like your nose and your eyes, that there’s something in your body that isn’t wanted and that they should try to get it out of there however they can.This is when you start sneezing and coughing.
What are antihistamines?
Now we know what histamine is and how it gives us all the coughs and sneezes, but how can we stop histamine from causing these symptoms?
That’s where antihistamines come in. They block the histamine from telling your body that it needs to react to pollen, stopping your symptoms at the source.
See? I told you they were clever! And that’s why antihistamines are such a common ingredient in hay fever tablets – they just work!
There are a few different types of antihistamines that are used in hay fever remedies, so we’ve put together a handy little list of some of the most popular and where you can find them:
- Cetirizine – Found in Benadryl, Pollenshield, BecoAllergy, and generic cetirizine tablets.
- Loratadine – Found in Haylief and Clarityn.
- Chlorphenamine – Found in Piriton and Pollenaze.
- Promethazine hydrochloride – Found in Phenergan.
What if tablets just aren’t for you? Maybe you’re not a fan of tablets or have a child who suffers from hay fever who is too young to take tablets, how can you get antihistamines that work for you?
Your answer might lie in hay fever relief syrups.
Hay fever relief syrups aren’t just great for those who can’t stand tablets, but they’re perfect for young children who struggle with hay fever symptoms.
Most syrups can be taken by children as young as two, making them the first choice for parents who want to help their little ones through pollen season.
If you’re suffering with a runny or bunged up nose, or have had enough of sneezing, you might be looking for a product that can help to relieve those symptoms specifically.
This is when you might turn to nasal sprays, which can target the symptoms that get right up your nose.
One of the most commonly used kinds of nasal sprays contain corticosteroids. But what are they, exactly? Let’s take a closer look.
What are Corticosteroids?
Corticosteroids is just a long word that basically means steroids.
When you have hay fever, the passages in your nose can become inflamed, which is what causes your runny nose and sneezes.
The corticosteroids used in hay fever relief nasal sprays have an anti-inflammatory effect, meaning they reduce inflammation and treat your hay fever symptoms in the process.
Want to know which nasal sprays have corticosteroids? Well, here’s another of our handy little lists:
- Beclomethasone – Found in Beconase and Pollenase.
- Triamcinolone – Found in Nasacort.
- Fluticasone – Found in Pirinase.
Like nasal sprays, eye drops target specific symptoms of hay fever. If you’re struggling with itchy, watery, or red eyes then eye drops can provide the relief you really need to see clearly again.
Lots of hay fever relief eye drops can be used in children over the age of six.
The most commonly used over the counter eye drops for hay fever contain an active ingredient called sodium cromoglicate, which works as and anti-inflammatory, reducing the affect that histamine has on your eyes and relieving itchy and watery eyes.
Some of our favourite eyedrops that use sodium cromoglicate to treat hay fever include those from Opticrom and Optrex.
Is there anything else I can do to prevent hay fever?
Now we know about all of the medicines we can use to keep hay fever under control, but there are a few simple things you can do to keep hay fever at bay in the first place.
For starters, make sure to check the pollen count online or in your local weather forecast every day.
If the pollen count is going to be high, consider staying indoors with the doors and windows shut, away from all of that sneeze-causing pollen.
If you have to go out into that pollen-filled world we live in, try to avoid grassy areas and consider picking up a pair of wrap-around sunglasses, which can help to keep pollen out of your eyes.
When you get home, take a shower and change your clothes to help remove any of the pollen that’s still clinging to your body.
Well look at that, now we know everything we need to know about choosing the best possible hay fever remedy depending on your own personal needs.
If you ever need any more information, why not give one of our Chemist 4 U pharmacists a call?
They’ll be able to answer any questions you might have about the best hay fever remedy for you, any time!