Allergies occur when your immune system recognises something in your body as a foreign substance and reacts accordingly. Hayfever is an allergic disorder caused by an exaggerated response to pollen or other substances like dustmites, feathers or animal dander, and mould. Also called rhinitis, it can be seasonal or perennial (all year round). Seasonal rhinitis is generally down to tree, grass and weed pollens, whereas perennial rhinitis is due to common household allergens, dustmites, feathers and animal dander, or mould.
When your immune system detects the allergen, it goes into overdrive releasing histamine and leukotrienes, these cause inflammation in your nasal passageways, sinuses and eyelids as your defences kick in to get rid of the allergen. Sneezing, runny nose, blocked nose, itchy nose and post-nasal drip ( the sensation of mucus going back down your throat) are all common symptoms of hayfever. Swelling in the nasal passageways can also block sinus drainage and lead to sinusitis. You eyes can be affected and be itchy and/or watery and can get red or swollen also.
If you are asthmatic or have eczema, you are more likely to suffer from hayfever. It is debilitating, it can disturb your sleep, impair concentration and impact your quality of life. Sufferers end up missing days at work or can perform poorly at work or exams. There are lots of products on the market now to help you combat these symptoms.
Antihistamines such as Cetirizine (Anti-Hist, Zirtek) and Loratadine (Lorat, Clarityn) and Chlorphenamine (Piriton) are the common go-to medicines for hayfever sufferers. Steroid nasal sprays (Flixonase, Beconase) are effective in reducing inflammation especially if the nose is blocked.
Neilmed do an excellent range of nasal rinses that flush the nose and sinuses and give long lasting relief from congestion and sinus pressure. Prevalin nasal sprays are a drug-free solution, they form a micro-gel barrier which traps the pollen and stops it before it can irritate and get to work. Prevalin Plus spray can actually de-sensitise you to the allergen over time. Both ranges are safe to take with other medication and if pregnant or breastfeeding.
They can be used as often as you need then and don't interact with other medicines.
As always if you have any questions please don't hesitate to use our Live Chat | Email facility to ask a Pharmacist any questions.