Hayfever comes early this year… Be prepared!!

As discussed on the Ray D’Arcy show on Today Fm last Tuesday, 6th March, Hayfever season is well and truly on it’s way, and people who suffer from this irritable condition may feel the first signs of Hayfever sooner rather then later…

Hayfever is a very common condition, affecting tens of thousands of people in Ireland every year. It is caused by an allergy to pollen or sometimes mould spores. In hayfever the body’s immune system over reacts to the presence of external substances, as if they were something toxic. This results in irritation and inflammation.

Hayfever often runs in families, and is also related to asthma and eczema. It is quite common to find a family with some members with asthma some with hayfever, and some with eczema. Any individual might have more than one of these conditions.

The symptoms vary from person to person and often involve sneezing, runny/blocked nose, red, watery, and itchy eyes, and an associated itchy throat. Very often there is also a wheezy chest, which really suggests a degree of asthma. Unfortunately the peak pollen time is the early summer when school and university examinations take place. As a result sufferers find it difficult to revise and to perform well in the actual examinations.

Different pollens are present at different times of year and thus the time that you are affected depends on the pollen to which you are allergic. Other factors which may aggravate the situation are the weather and the air quality.

There are various treatments, some of which are available over the counter from a pharmacist. Antihistamine tablets or medicine reduce the effect on the body of one of the main chemicals released by the allergic response.

There are nasal sprays which contain steroids and other substances which reduce the local inflammatory response in the nose. There are also eye drops which have similar effects on the eye. Those people with asthmatic symptoms need treatment as for asthma.

There are injection treatments to desensitise patients against the substance to which they are allergic but these must be prescribed by a doctor.

List of recommended treatments:

  • Olbas Lozanges – €1.79
  • Olbas Bath Oil – €6.39
  • Olbas Oil 10ml/28ml – €3.99/ €6.19
  • Olbas Packet Tissues – €0.69
  • Olbas Pastilles – €4.39
  • Otrivine Spray – €5.09
  • Sudafed Nasal Spray – €5.19
  • Claritan (decongestant and antihistamine) 7’s/30’s- €5.65/ €11.99
  • Zirtek – See in store
  • Prevalin Allergy Spray 20ml – €12.95, See HERE
  • Prevalin Kids Allergy Spray 20ml – €12.95, See HERE
All products mentioned are available over the counter at Sam McCauley Chemists. Find your nearest store HERE and talk to our pharmacists for advice and treatments.

There are several things you can do to lessen symptoms by avoiding contact with the allergens, these include:

  • In the summer stay inside between 5pm and 7pm, when pollen counts are usually high. Keep windows and doors closed, especially at these times and when sleeping.
  • Use an air conditioner or filter when possible, at home, work, and in the car, to remove pollen and other allergens from the air.
  • Damp dust and vacuum your home regularly, to minimise the presence of pollen and dust.
  • Airing bedclothes in direct sunlight is also helpful.
  • Be aware of the pollen count (usually broadcast along with the weather), and avoid areas of high pollen concentration, e.g. long grass, lawn mowings, and trees if allergic to these.
  • Avoid unnecessary extra irritants such as smoke and chemical fumes.

Today Fm’s advice:

Here’s a range of listeners favourites to keep those sniffles at bay…

  • Viridian Quercetin B5 from health food shops
  • Olbos Oil used in a steam room
  • New Era for hayfever
  • Luffa
  • Pycnogenol
  • Honey (preferrably local) or also Bees Pollen


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