With Spring most definitely in the air, it is time for trees to blossom and the grass to grow. Sounds great, right? However, if you are one of the unlucky 20% of all Americans who suffer from hay fever, then it can be a time of year where you wish you were able to simply stay indoors avoiding all of the things that trigger your seasonal allergies. That just isn’t feasible, but thankfully your local pharmacy is on hand to offer some relief from those irritating, and sometimes debilitating symptoms.
What is Hay Fever?
Hay fever occurs when a person’s immune system overreacts to pollen. The body tries to neutralize the pollen by releasing large amounts of histamines. This causes watery eyes, a runny nose, and congestion. In severe cases, hay fever can also increase the risk of developing asthma and make the sufferer more susceptible to sinus infections. While hay fever can be debilitating, it is usually possible to find a suitable treatment to relieve the symptoms at your local pharmacy depending on the severity of your allergies.
Mild Hay Fever
In mild cases of hay fever, the symptoms are often described as annoying, but tolerable. In this situation, it is often possible to find relief without the use of medications. Small lifestyle changes such as avoiding pollen where possible can help to alleviate the symptoms. A saline nasal rinse can be used to clear pollen residue from the nose and changing clothes after being outside reduces the amount of pollen residue in your home. Monitoring the pollen count can also help you to avoid the outdoors on particularly high days.
Moderate Hay Fever
In more serious cases of hay ever, sufferers may find that their symptoms are interfering with their ability to sleep or perform day to day activities. This is when most people will consult their local pharmacy for assistance. The most common advice will be to try antihistamines either in the form of eyedrops or tablets. These can be purchased over-the-counter at any local pharmacy. Antihistamines can be taken whenever symptoms flare or pro-actively on days when the pollen count is high to avoid symptoms occurring. The downside to over-the-counter treatments is that it is common for patients to build up a resistance. If that happens, it is worth asking a doctor about prescription nasal sprays which may be more effective.
Severe Hay Fever
Those with the most severe seasonal allergies may find that antihistamines are not enough to alleviate their symptoms. In those cases, the next step is to try a steroid nasal spray. It is possible to obtain an over-the-counter spray from your local pharmacy, but stronger options are available only on prescription. The unluckiest sufferers find that even the steroid spray is ineffective. At this point, it is wise to consider immunotherapy, which usually comes in the form of ‘allergy shots.’
Your Hometown Pharmacy Since 1966
Vaughn Pharmacy is a local, family-owned pharmacy serving the community in Powell, TN. Specializing in providing personalized and attentive prescription programs to our patients, we believe you are more than just a number – you’re part of our family!