Hayfever, or allergic rhinitis, affects around 18% of people in Australia
and New Zealand. If you’re on of them, you’ll be very aware of how
unforgettable and frustrating it can be to regularly experience symptoms like
sneezing, itchy eyes, nose and throat, tiredness, puffy, watery eyes and nasal
Hayfever can actually strike
year-round, although it’s most often associated with spring because of the higher concentrations of pollen in the air.
If you're suffering from hayfever, here's our guide to the treatments
available at your local pharmacy:
Corticosteroid nasal sprays
Corticosteroid nasal sprays help to
reduce nasal inflammation and congestion. They’re recommended for moderate to
severe hay fever and are most effective with consistent use.
Corticosteroid nasal sprays do
provide some relief within a few hours of use but can take several days to
reach their full effect.
If you’re someone who gets
year-round hayfever, you can use these products in the long term. This is
different from “unblocking” nasal sprays which are designed for short term use.
However, you should consult your doctor or pharmacist if you’re using a steroid
nasal spray for more than six months.
Antihistamines come to mind first for many
people when they think of allergy treatments. They work by blocking the action
of the histamine (the compound that your body produces as part of your immune
response to an allergen) and can help to soothe allergy symptoms like sneezing,
an itchy or runny nose, and red, itchy, puffy, or watery eyes.
They are available as tablets,
liquids or capsules, nasal sprays, and eye drops. The eye drops are
particularly effective at helping to quickly provide relief for red, itchy, and
To manage mild, intermittent hay
fever symptoms, use a non-drowsy antihistamine, such as Claratyne. And remember, particularly for kids, non-drowsy products are
better for work and study,
Nasal saline spray, drops or rinse can help to wash away pollen and
other irritants in the nose. They're typically non-medicated, so can be used in
conjunction with other treatments. However, if you're using a nasal saline
spray or drops with a medicated nasal spray, use the saline first and wait
about 10 minutes before using the medication.
Decongestant nasal drops or sprays can help to relieve a stuffy or runny nose
by narrowing the blood vessels in your nose.
The method of delivery means that
the product goes exactly where you need it, to provide fast-acting relief for
up to 12 hours. These sprays are only designed for short-term use (a few days
at a time)
If you have pain in your sinus
area, it may require treatment with an analgesic such as paracetamol or anti-inflammatory medicine like ibuprofen. You can take paracetamol and
or/ibuprofen with an antihistamine medication.
Remember that some allergy
treatments can make you drowsy. If you’re operating machinery or driving, you
may need to avoid these products and choose other treatment options instead.
In addition to pharmacy treatments,
there are some changes you can make to your everyday routine and lifestyle to
help manage and treat your allergy symptoms:
the Pollen Count app for your city, and take extra care to stay indoors on high-risk
airconditioning systems in your home and car with an air-filtering system.
home using a damp cloth, wear a mask when vacuuming and avoid sweeping where
plants that trigger hay fever from your home and garden.
pets outdoors and particularly out of the bedroom.
linen regularly using hot water, and hang sheets out in the sun to dry.
the use of perfumes, spray deodorants and insect sprays.
experiencing congestion, try inhaling steam from a vaporiser or hot shower.
to raise your head and shoulders in bed while you sleep.
It’s important to remember that
symptoms and their severity can significantly vary from person to person, so
it’s a good idea to consult your doctor or speak to your local Capital Chemist
pharmacist to get personalised advice.