Hay fever symptoms: Pollen allergy prevented with immunotherapy tablet treatment? | Health | Life & Style
Patients usually have a reaction to pollen if it comes into contact with their mouth, nose, eyes or throat.
Hay fever symptoms can include watery eyes, loss of smell, headaches, and a blocked nose.
The condition is usually worse during late March to September, especially when it’s warmer and humid outside.
If over-the-counter hay fever treatments don’t work for you, you could be eligible for immunotherapy.
Immunotherapy is a treatment which includes injections or tablets that contain a small amount of pollen, the NHS said.
The injections slowly build up your immunity to pollen over time.
Treatment usually begins in the winter – about three months before the hay fever season starts.
Hay fever patients could significantly reduce their symptoms with immunotherapy treatment, according to Imperial College, London.
But, some scientists say you may have to have the treatment for a full three years before feeling any benefit.
“Hay fever causes major impairment of sleep, work and school performance and leisure activities during what for most of us think is the best time of the year,” said the National Heart and Lung Institute’s Head of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Professor Stephen Durham.
“Most people respond to the usual antihistamines and nasal sprays, although there is a portion who do not respond adequately or who have unacceptable side effects to the treatment.
“This study shows that whereas both immunotherapy treatments were highly effective, two years of treatment was insufficient for long-term benefits.
“Clinicians and patients should continue to follow international guidelines that recommend a minimum of three years’ treatment.
“We have reconfirmed that both treatments are effective but that in order to get the long-term clinical benefits after stopping the treatment, you have to take it for three years.”
There is currently no cure for hay fever, but there are ways you could lower your risk of symptoms, the NHS said.
Try rubbing petroleum jelly around your nostrils to trap pollen, or wear wraparound sunglasses to stop pollen from reaching your eyes.
You should try to stay inside as much as possible during hay fever season, and should shower or change your clothes after you’ve been outside.
Speak to a pharmacist if you’re showing signs of hay fever. They’ll be able to advise you on the best treatments available, including antihistamine tablets, drops, or nasal sprays.
If your symptoms aren’t getting any better, or they’re getting worse, you should speak to a GP about other available treatments, including immunotherapy.