Our mum blogger's guide to hay fever treatments and the prescription strength injection all sufferers should be aware of.
I am sure you know someone with hay fever or worse suffer from it yourself! So what is it? Hay fever is a fairly common allergic condition and around 1 in 5 of us are affected by it at some point in our lives.
Can anyone suffer from hay fever? Yes, unfortunately, hay fever can strike any of us. Hay fever generally affects us during the spring and summer months when pollen levels are highest, however, allergic reactions and similar symptoms could also occur throughout the year for other allergy-related problems we can have such as Allergic Rhinitis.
What if I have never even suffered from hay fever before? Sadly that doesn't automatically make you 'safe' as it can strike in those who have never had to endure the suffering of having sore eyes, stuffy or runny nose, itchy throat, painful ear congestion, and swollen sinus!
The Hay Fever Treatment You Need To Know About
So do you want to try to get rid of your runny nose, constant sneezing and itchy eyes? Carry on reading to discover the best treatment options I've found available. Firstly, Pall Mall Medical offer a private hay fever injection for adults. You'll be happy to know that this simple treatment involves just one injection in the bottom. It doesn't hurt though, having it in the bottom means more muscle mass (or cellulite in my case), which helps to cushion the sting!
As a prescription-strength treatment, it can potentially provide season-long relief from a single injection too, hooray! Most people get some initial relief of their symptoms within 72 hours and if you're one of the lucky ones this could happen as quickly as within 24 hours. However, it's not the same for everybody and if your symptoms have flared up, or are severe at the time of your appointment, it may take longer to get the maximum effect of the injection. On the plus side, this treatment can be used as a preventative measure and can be taken prior to symptoms occurring. For example, I usually have a flare-up around June time most years, and having an injection in May gives me time to protect myself from the most annoying symptoms.
However, there are a few things to bear in mind ladies and gents, firstly, it is NOT a cure, you can still expect to feel some milder symptoms from time to time. There is nothing that can physically stop pollen from landing in your eyes, nose and throat - so don't expect a full recovery from every ailment hay fever causes you. It's best to think that this will reduce severe symptoms when you've exhausted all other options. Secondly, it is NOT a replacement for standard hay fever remedies either, you should continue to take these too if you want the maximum level of protection! Like any medicine, the injection is not guaranteed to work, and you may need a larger dose than other people, simply as our immune systems all work differently. A booster dose may be of benefit if you have limited relief from a single dose. This second dose is, of course, optional, but good to know for those still suffering really badly.
So what are you waiting for? Pall Mall Medical have really beautiful and safe CQC-certified clinics in Liverpool and Manchester. The process is quick too - with some safety checks and a short GP consultation to discuss your symptoms and consent to being suitable for the injection. If you are medically safe to receive the injection, it can be done during the same appointment. There's no messing around you'll be out of there within 15-20 minutes in most cases. Following your appointment and hay fever injection, you will be safe to drive and return straight back to your workplace or normal daily routine.
You can also watch my friend Tim receive a hay fever injection on his video on YouTube
What Other Options Do I Have?
So apart from the hay fever injection, are there any other prescription-strength treatments available for us? Prescription medications are commonly used by NHS and private doctors to treat hay fever and I am going to talk you through two of the most common. Antihistamines are probably the most common form of prescription medication used for relief from the horrible symptoms we experience such as itchy eyes, runny nose and sneezing. How do they work? Antihistamines are used to relieve or prevent the symptoms of hay fever and other types of allergy. They work by preventing the effects of a substance called histamine, which is produced by the body. Histamine can cause itching, sneezing, runny nose, and watery eyes.
In addition to antihistamines, nasal sprays otherwise known as nasal corticosteroids aid the prevention and treatment of itching, a running nose and also inflammation within the nose. They are effective for a lot of us at reigning in milder hay fever symptoms and are a safe treatment option for many of us with limited side-effects. The downside (sorry to disappoint) is the fact that some medications have to be taken every day to remain effective. They can cause side-effects too, such as drowsiness and they do come with a somewhat unpleasant taste or smell and in some cases can cause irritation in the nose if used too often. Always best to discuss the side-effects with your doctor.
What About Over The Counter Remedies From A Shop?
What else can I use? Thirdly there are over the counter remedies that you can use to help treat hay fever. These include decongestants which include brands such as Sudafed and Aifinol, there are also over the counter nasal sprays that can be bought to help your irritating symptoms! One of the bonuses of these treatments is that there is no faffing at your doctors as you do not require a prescription to buy them. Though, and a big but, is that they tend not to be very strong - and in some cases may not help if you're suffering badly with more moderate to severe symptoms. We can often spend almost £5-£10 per week on these products, which can add up. We forget that although easily accessible, we generally pay more in the long term for these products especially if you need protection up to 6 months of the year!
Are There Any Home Remedies Could I Try?
Finally, for those of you like myself who love finding a traditional home remedy to help rid every health problem out there, you'll be happy to know there are a fair few remedies and solutions that could help you rid your hay fever. Firstly, get your cleaning gloves on as minimising dust can minimise your symptoms! Sadly, dust mites can exacerbate your hay fever symptoms so it is important that you keep your house as dust-free as possible. You should also consider changing your pillows often and removing any feather quilts as these will definitely not help your symptoms.
Secondly, eating local honey or fresh honeycomb can help reduce your symptoms, who doesn't love a bit of honey hey? The not so popular option is eating ginger and garlic; we somehow don't seem to find these ingredients as appealing as chomping down on some honeycomb! Nonetheless, we need to definitely bear in my mind that garlic contains antibiotic properties and ginger is, in fact, a natural anti-inflammatory, so although you might have to avoid kissing for a day or two, it'll be well worth it! Now for you swimmers... if you find that your hay fever is worse after going for your daily swim, that is due to the fact that chlorine exacerbates hay fever too, I bet you didn't know that did you? During peak times of your unpleasant symptoms, you're much better off enjoying a nice warm bath at home with plenty of saltwater, as this is amazingly good in clearing the sinuses and reducing your symptoms.
What Can I Do Next?
The clock is ticking and it will soon be the best part of spring which means our hay fever will be back with a vengeance! Be prepared and get booked in for your hay fever injection or to see our GP for other options at Pall Mall Medical today, as remember this can be a preventative measure to keeping your hay fever symptoms at bay.
In addition, get to your local supermarket to buy some over the counter medications and make some honeycomb and maybe even eat some garlic for you brave ones! Either way, by combining other treatments with a hay fever injection you are one step closer to waving goodbye to your runny nose, sneezing and itching - and getting back outdoors to do the things you love the most! Regain your freedom!
Book With Confidence
If you would like to book an appointment to receive a hay fever injection or GP appointment to discuss your symptoms and what treatment would suit you, please contact Pall Mall Medical.
Appointments are available in Liverpool City Centre and in Manchester City Centre and should take no longer than 15-30 minutes of your time.