High Pollen counts signal the start of a painful few months for hay fever sufferers, where bloodshot itchy eyes and constant sneezing put a stop to enjoying all that summer has to give. It is also the start of confusion over the many, many brands of tablet, drops and sprays that are on special offer in the pharmacy isle.
In a perfect world there would be one single tablet which can cure all symptoms of hay fever, yet in reality unfortunately this is not the case. Hay fever itself changes, having different strains of pollen at different times in the year. These strains effect everyone differently, some more than others, yet all strains make the days uncomfortable to get through.
These are some of the essentials needed to get through a bad hay fever summer without breaking the bank. Before taking any new medicine please consult with your GP.
First up is the tablets, it can be daunting choosing as there are so many brands however in reality there are two main tablets out there, Cetirizine Hydrochloride and Loratadine. These can both be found widely in all supermarkets and drugstores and don't have to cost a fortune because really you pay for the packaging, a shops own brand is the same dosage and just as effective. The most common is Cetirizine Hydrochloride which is a non-drowsy antihistamine and the other Loratadine can have side effects like drowsiness but basically does the same thing it is really down to how well each reacts to the strain of pollen you will be taking them for.
Next we have Nasal sprays and Eye drops; most nasal sprays are the same dosage so it is really down to how your body reacts to the varying medicines. With nasal sprays a good one to look for is a complete allergy relief spray, this eliminates danger of pollen being brought in with dust. With eye drops however they make specific drops for hay fever sufferers, these are great as they not only help block out pollen but also ease irritation.
When it is a very high pollen count, eyes can swell leaving the face and eye area painful and tender, a good tool to help with this is a gel eye mask, these can be put in the fridge so when applied it is cool and will help bring down the swelling as well as easing some of the pain.
Wearing eye makeup as well could cause more irritation, so its best during a high pollen count to wear no eye makeup or no products that are applied near the waterline eg. Eyeliner, mascara.
Hay fever relief really is a trial and error process and what worked the year before may not work the following year and because everybody is different and reacts differently to the pollen strains, there is no set course of treatment. Just make sure to avoid high pollen activities such as mowing the lawn and walking near long grass, keep windows closed on high pollen count days and if it is effecting you when driving you can get pollen filters for the vents in your car. Don't let it ruin your summer, find what works for you.