Hay fever: Drug shortage 'no reason to panic' says expert
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One of the most uncomfortable, and hardest to ignore, symptoms of hay fever are itchy eyes.
Hochstrasser suggests wearing “wraparound sunglasses to make a barrier to the outside world”.
Also recommended is the consumption of vitamin C as this acts as an anti-inflammatory.
As well as itchy eyes, sneezing and an itchy throat are other common hay fever symptoms.
On sneezing, Hochstrasser recommends trying “saline for the nostrils, to cleanse the nostrils of any irritants. Make sure you blow your nose every hour so you’re constantly cleaning it out, so it doesn’t build up”.
One common recommendation is inserting cotton wool buds into the nostrils, but Hochstrasser recommends against this.
Meanwhile, the itchy throat can be avoided by: “Keeping the throat lubricated by taking regular sips of water.
“You can also gargle with saltwater. This is so the throat doesn’t get dry and doesn’t itch in the first place.”
While these are positive steps to take during the day, these can’t all be conducted at night.
On this, Hochstrasser’s advice is simple: “Keep the windows shut.”
In the past, patients have reported hay fever as worse at night, but Hochstrasser says hay fever “is not necessarily worse at night. You might also have an allergy to house dust mites”.
She warns: “If it’s just in the summer then it’s more likely to be hay fever, but if it’s all year you need to get checked out.”
Other recommendations include checking the pollen forecast and keeping out of sunlight.
Hay fever has recently been in the news amid reports of a shortage of medicine containing the compound chlorphenamine maleate.
This compound is one of the main ingredients in medications such as Piriton and other hay fever remedies.
While this sounds worrying, given the recent reports of a shortage of HRT, health experts say there is no need to be concerned.
The reason for remaining calm is down to chlorphenamine maleate’s position as just one of many antihistamines.
Those containing loratadine or cetirizine hydrochloride remain in strong supply.
As a result, there is no need to panic buy hay fever medicine.
It is highly recommended any individual who suffers acutely from hay fever maintains a keen eye on the day’s forecasted pollen count in order to know what measures to take.
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