Key facts about hay fever
Hay fever is increasingly common and now affects about a quarter of the UK population, 1 so it’s important that you advise customers how best to prevent their symptoms.
- Runny nose
- Blocked nose
- Itchy nose
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Nasal congestion
Identify the stage of allergic reaction
The best treatment option will depend on the customer’s symptoms and which stage of the allergic reaction the sufferer is at, to enable to most effective symptom relief:
An allergen (like pollen or dust) enters the nose, sensitising the mast cells. A customer may not present with any symptoms at this stage.
2 Early-phase response
Sensitised mast cells release histamine, which causes itchy nose, runny nose and sneezing.
White blood cells enter the affected area, causing irritation and inflammation that lead to congestion.
4 Late-phase response
The inflammation leads to the release of even more histamine, which worsens symptoms like itchy nose, runny nose, eye irritation, sneezing and congestion.
1. Hay fever and Sport Report, commissioned by Care Allergy Defence and developed by Professor Jean Emberlin, Professor in Aerobiology, National Pollen and Aerobiology Research Unit, University of Worcester