How to fight pollen allergy
Rhinitis, sneezing, blocked nose, red, pinky eyes and general malaise – these are the symptoms of allergy or otherwise allergic rhinitis and conjunctivitis, from which many of us suffer during the spring season. How to deal with such an allergy? What medicines to use and where to seek help? The answers to these questions can be found in the following article.
Spring and allergy
Recent years have seen an increase in the incidence of seasonal allergies in adults (and not only). They are particularly severe in spring and summer, when many plants are blooming and dusting. The most common pollen that causes allergy symptoms include grass pollen, but also such pollen as mugwort, birch, hazel, alder and grandmother. They often lead to allergic rhinoconjunctivitis symptoms.
Allergic rhinitis – definition
Allergic rhinitis is a syndrome of symptoms associated with an inflammatory process within the nasal mucosa caused by environmental allergens. Allergic rhinitis can be divided into periodic and chronic (depending on the duration of the symptoms), mild, moderate or severe (depending on the severity of the symptoms) and seasonal or year-round (depending on the duration of exposure to allergens).
Allergic rhinitis – symptoms
Typical symptoms of allergic rhinitis include:
- rhinitis – watery, leaking
- jammed nose
- nasal and eye itching
- reddening of the eyes
- eyelid oedema
Hay allergy management
The best way to fight an allergy is to avoid allergens. Unfortunately, this is not always possible, but it is worth doing so to reduce and minimize contact with pollen. Therefore, you should observe yourself and know at what point in time your allergy symptoms occur. It will be essential to know the pollen calendar, so that you are better prepared for this possible allergy before the next pollen season.
In addition, you should avoid being in places where the concentration of pollen is highest – i.e. parks, forests, meadows and avoid walking there during dry and windy weather. Nevertheless, often, despite intensive attempts to avoid allergens, allergy symptoms appear and then medications should be taken. Drugs that can be used in allergic rhinitis, which on the one hand reduce the severity of the nuisance and on the other hand protect against the aggravation of these symptoms, include:
- drugs applied topically to the nose
- topical eye medications
Eye medications and medical devices
Numerous preparations (OTC drugs and medical devices) in the form of eye drops are available on the market, recommended in case of allergic inflammation.
These products contain, among others:
- Sodium cromoglicate
- Aselestine hydrochloride
Sodium cromoglycan is the active substance of such drugs as:
Sodium cromoglicate has an anti-allergic effect. Its mechanism of action consists in stabilizing cell membranes of mast cells and blocking calcium channels. This leads to inhibition of the release of allergic reaction mediators and its reduction. Unfortunately, it is not a drug which works on an ad hoc basis – in order for it to work properly, it should be used for a longer time – full therapeutic effect is achieved after 4 weeks of use of a given drug.
Aselestine hydrochloride is an active substance of such drugs as:
- Azelastin COMOD
- Azelestine, is a second generation antihistamine. It blocks H1 receptors and additionally inhibits the release of inflammatory mediators from mast cells. Therefore, it reduces the allergic reaction, relieves allergic rhinitis and allergic conjunctivitis. It is available as eye drops and nasal drops/aerosols.
- Ectoin – in recent years, eye drops containing ectoin have appeared on the market. These products are not registered as a medicine but as a medical device. And as such they do not cure, but only support the disease process.
Medication for the nose
Allergic rhinitis can also be treated with nasal drops/aerosols.
Such products may contain substances as described above:
- Sodium cromoglicate (CROMOHEXAL, Polcrom)
- Aselestine hydrochloride (Allergodill)
- Ectoin (Ectoalerg)
There are also nasal drops on the market, containing oxymetasoline or xylometasoline, whose purpose is to reduce congestion and swelling of the nasal mucous membranes and thus to make it quick and easy to breathe. It is worth remembering, however, that drugs containing these medicinal substances may not be used for more than 5-7 days.
An allergic reaction is a complex body reaction to contact with an allergen. Various substances, including histamine, are involved in the formation and intensification of this reaction. It acts through histamine receptors. If these receptors are blocked, the allergic reaction is interrupted and the annoying symptoms of the allergy are reduced or completely resolved. Medications that block histamine receptors are called antihistamines and are the main group of drugs used in the case of allergies, including allergic rhinitis.
Anti-histamines are divided into two groups:
- First generation antihistamines (Antasoline, Chlorphenyramine, Hydroxysine, Ketotifen, Klemistin)
- Generation II antihistamines (aselestine, cetirisin, loratidine, phenoxophenatidine)
- IInd generation antihistamines with additional extra prescription anti-inflammatory effects (desloratadine, lecithritisine)
Some antihistamines are available without a prescription.
These include, among others:
- Cetirisin (Alerzine, Allertec WZF, Amertil, Zyrtec UCB)
- Loratadine (Claritine active, Flonidan control)
- Fexophenatidine (Allegra)
- Desloratadine (Alergo Teva, Aleric Deslo Active, Hitaxafast)
- Levocaitrin (Contrahist Allergy, Lirra Gem, Zyx Bio)
In the case of allergies, other medications prescribed by the doctor may also be used, such as intranasal glucocorticosteroids, for example. They have an anti-inflammatory and anti-allergenic effect, but their use must be decided by your doctor.
Fight hay fever!
To sum up, a hay allergy, which manifests itself as a leaking cold, clogged nose, reddened and teary eyes is a very troublesome disease and makes normal functioning difficult. Therefore, in order to help yourself and alleviate the troublesome symptoms it is worth to reach for products from a pharmacy.
These can be topical (nasal drops/aerosols, eye drops) or systemic (oral antihistamines). Consult your pharmacist or doctor. In case of severe or aggravating symptoms, despite the use of over-the-counter drugs, it is necessary to consult a physician who will recommend appropriate prescription drugs.