Good management begins with an accurate diagnosis of your problem so that you understand the cause – your doctor can help you with this.
Once a diagnosis of seasonal allergic rhinitis –hayfever-is confirmed, then there are three strategies that may be used to help manage your condition – as yet there is no cure for this!
- Allergen avoidance – this is not easy with pollen! Knowing the pollen count and the pollen forecast can assist you in taking evasive action – perhaps going to the movies instead of a picnic!
- Using medication-the type of medication will depend on how regular and how severe your symptoms are. If you have mild intermittent symptoms only, then a non-sedating antihistamine or an antihistamine nasal spray at the time of your symptoms may be all that is required. Both of these can be bought over the counter.
If you have more regular symptoms that are interfering with your life in any way, then you need to be on regular “preventer” medication. The most effective of these are nasal sprays called intranasal steroid sprays – your doctor can discuss which one may suit you best. These sprays work by reducing allergic inflammation so need to be used on a daily basis throughout the season.
- For people who have severe symptoms recurring each season, a form of therapy known as immunotherapy may be suggested. This form of treatment comes as injections or as a daily oral treatment. This is a longterm strategy aimed at altering the immune response responsible for your allergies. It can provide longterm benefit but needs commitment to complete the course of treatment. Your doctor can discuss the merits of this therapy with you.