April is undoubtedly the harbinger of the summer season, which most people would happily enjoy even in the lockdown. Unfortunately, those suffering from hayfever, going back out and about could be bring troublesome symptoms.
Hayfever sufferers are again anxious this year as some of the common symptoms of hayfever can be mistaken with the symptoms of coronavirus.
Hay fever is an allergic response of the body towards pollen. Pollen is a fine powder from plants. When pollen comes into contact with your mouth, nose, eyes and throat the allergic response begins.
Hay fever is also known as seasonal allergic rhinitis. The most common known reason (trigger) for this allergy is grass pollen, typically the most prevalent of which occurs between May and July, unsurprisingly, this is also the peak symptomatic period for hay fever sufferers.
It is important to note that tree pollen can also bring on symptoms from as early as February until June, and weed pollen from June until as late as September!
Check the pollen forecast on the Met Office website
Most patients say their hay fever symptoms are easily managed, but some people are severely affected, and their symptoms will have a huge effect on their day to day activities and wellbeing. The symptoms of hay fever vary from person to person these include:
Our Superintendent community pharmacist Mr Nur Choudhury suggests prompt treatment of the symptoms.
‘Hay fever can make us feel really terrible. It is a reaction to pollen, It has no cure, but only prevention can help you’.
He adds, all-round antihistamines like cetirizine or loratadine, can usually bring relief. “If the symptoms appear to impact one system/region, you may also use over-the-counter medicine to address these, such as eye drops or nasal spray,” He also suggests ‘It may even help place some Vaseline around the nostrils to catch pollen to avoid it from going through your nose.”
The most widely reported symptoms of COVID-19 includes cough and a high temperature (37.8°C or above). It is important to note, symptoms can be highly variable from person to person.
People with COVID-19 show flu-like symptoms for around 6-10 days. The virus tends to affect the upper respiratory tract when it is moderate and the signs include
A few of the signs of hay fever can also be found in coronavirus, i.e. loss of smell cough, swollen nose and feeling unwell overall. You can also note that hay fever worsens any of the asthma effects, such as wheezing and breathlessness, whether you have asthma and hay fever. In reality, during the hay fever season some people get just symptoms of asthma. As breathlessness is one of the symptoms of coronavirus, it is reasonable that some people would be uncertain whether they have hay fever or they have coronavirus. Most of the people affected from hay fever are influenced since childhood and are likely to develop same symptoms each year so they already know the symptoms of it. But in any case, if you haven’t heard you might be worried about suddenly developing nasal or respiratory symptoms. However, for the first time over the age of 20, about one in five people with hay fever have symptoms, so there is no reason to suppose that the symptoms of an adult cannot be caused by hay fever just because they never had it before.
If you think your fever or cough is new. It is important to self-isolate yourself because it can be the symptoms of corona virus. Mild illness doesn’t require medical attention so you should self-manage at home, taking paracetamol or ibuprofen to treat symptoms if you need to. If you begin to feel worse or develop more symptoms, you are advised to call 111 to speak to doctors who can prescribe you medication. It is important for you to not to go anywhere if you think you have corona virus.
There is no evidence to suggest allergy sufferers are at higher risk.
Yes, one can have both.
Hay fever can be managed at home even if your symptoms are severe.
You should stay indoors as much as possible and when in your home keep windows and doors closed. This will reduce your exposure to pollen.
During COVID-19 there is more pressure on frontline health systems, however, help is always at hand and you should not put off seeing or speaking to a professional.
Mr Choudhury’s advice is you shouldn’t needlessly suffer. Always ask for medical advice if you are unsure. If you looking for highly effective hay fever treatment, you can view the treatment options available at AccessDoctor.
Allergy shots, also known as allergen immunotherapy, consist of a series of treatments aimed to provide long-term relief of severe allergies.
You might consider allergen immunotherapy if you have severe allergy symptoms that interfere with your daily life even after you’ve made changes to your immediate environment. These shots may be used to treat common allergens such as pollens. These are not useful against COVID-19 which now has multiple effective vaccines.
For sufferers of vague symptoms and an unconfirmed diagnosis, allergy testing is something to consider. Common allergens tested include:
The fever associated with COVID-19 or any other viral infection can be treated with Paracetamol. Severe symptoms require medical advice.
Fever is a common symptom of COVID-19, the diagnosis should be considered, if you have additional symptoms and have been in contact with someone known to have confirmed COVID-19.
Over production of IgE antibodies leads to hay fever symptoms; runny nose, sore throat and itchy eyes. The over production of IgG and IgM is responsible for fighting the [covid-19] virus. Therefore, taking anti-histamines will not affect your immune response to COVID-19
Avoid sneezing, especially because if you do carry the virus, it can transmit the virus further in droplets when you sneeze, so sneeze into your elbow, use tissues.