Doctor, This Hay Fever is Killing Me!

woman with a hay fever

With spring upon us and the prospect of glorious sunshine and beautiful flowers blooming, we have to give consideration to those who suffer during this time. Runny nose, watery eyes, itchy throat, nasal congestion and chest tightness are just some of the symptoms for hay fever which present about this time. For some, symptoms are mild and easily managed however many can be so severely affected that they struggle to handle their normal day to day tasks.

Thankfully there are products you can buy from your local pharmacy to help. Popular choices include:

  • Pirtion – which can be taken every 4 to 6 hours. The most common side effect is drowsiness.
  • Cetrizine and Loratadine which are once daily preparations.
  • For the eyes – Sodium Cromoglicate eye drops which are applied directly to the eyes for symptomatic relief.
  • For the nose – Nasal sprays which act directly on the nasal passages and the sinuses. However there are stronger sprays usually steroid based which are only available on prescription.

But if these do not help, then your doctor may consider Fexofenadine. The strongest antihistamine tablet available which is a once daily preparation and can be quite effective.

However despite all these preparations some people still find no relief. Therefore I have found more and more patients coming to ask for injections to help hay fever usually as a result of desperate research on the internet. These are intramuscular injections which are also steroid based and an example is depomedrone. This is not common practice in the UK but is available privately or considered by a specialist after a referral by your local doctor.

Despite treatments, hay fever is still a mystery. In some cases, a person may not experience any symptoms for many years then suddenly out of the blue they start displaying key traits for hay fever. Usually this is accompanied with pondering, head scratching and the question “why now?”

As hay fever is quite prevalent, I felt it was important to make sure people are aware of help that is available especially around this season. We, at WAFFL will always continue to strive towards relevant and valuable information but also to continue to have our services utilised as points of reference both for health and well-being.

Dr Anthony Egboh

by Dr Anthony Egboh, WAFFL Doctor

Dr Anthony Egboh (MBBS, BSc, AICSM, MRCGP) is a London-born General Practitioner (GP) with interests in Health and Well-being for families.

At WAFFL he brings his medical insight and expertise to the team. He is a firm believer in striving for better health – ensuring that fitness is a lifestyle choice, not just a part-time habit.