Health & Fitness Should you consider the hay fever injection?
Professor shares amazing tip to deal with hay fever spike that hits between 5-7pm everyday
HAY FEVER season is starting to kick in, with many people complaining of sneezing and other irritating symptoms. If your symptoms tend to worsen in the evening, Allergy expert Professor Adam Fox has a handy tip.According to Prof Fox, you should take an antihistamine in the afternoon to offset nasty symptoms in the evening.
If you're plagued with severe sniffles, sneezing, watery eyes and an itchy throat as soon as warmer weather arrives – and medicines and nasal sprays don't give you any reprieve – the hay fever injection could be the solution you're looking for.
As anyone who suffers from acute bouts of hay fever will tell you, this pesky pollen allergy can be all-consuming and make life extremely difficult. There's no cure for the condition, also known as allergic rhinitis, so treatments are the only way to keep symptoms in check.
Hay fever sufferers warned of ‘pollen bomb' this Easter weekend - how to manage symptoms
HAY FEVER sufferers have been warned to expect high pollen levels over Easter Weekend with friends and family set to meet outdoors under the newly re-introduced rule of six. Allergy UK has advised the best treatments for managing symptoms.The severity of pollen levels is measured by Pollen Grains Per Cubic Metre (PPM). A reading of 200-703 for tree pollen is considered high, and anything above 704 very high.
Here, we speak to Dr Seth Rankin, founder of, and pharmacist Anshu Kaura of LloydsPharmacy, to find out more about the benefits and risks associated with the hay fever injection, so you can breathe easy:
What is hay fever?
is a common phenomenon. Every year, 10-15 per cent of us will be afflicted by symptoms of pollen allergy. Whether you're sneezing, suffering from a runny nose or experiencing more severe exhaustion and sickness, you're not alone.
Hay fever works just the same as any other allergic response - the immune system responds to a foreign substance entering the body and attempts to remove it. In the case of hay fever, this foreign body is pollen, which is harmless to your health. Hay fever is simply your immune system over-reacting.
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HAY FEVER season might have you sneezing more than usual, which may lead to embarrassing leaks down below. Pilates instructor Jane Wake spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk about how to stop it."It's a series of muscles that run from your coccyx (your tail bone) to your pubic bone at the front," explained Wake.
Hay fever treatments
Some plants release pollen as early as January, and can continue as late as September. That's several months of potential discomfort. There's currently no known cure for hay fever, although symptoms can be lessened through the use of a variety of treatments.
on prescription and over the counter. Around 10 per cent of hay fever sufferers find their symptoms do not respond to such as antihistamine tablets.
Antihistamines are not without side effects and they do not prove effective in every case. As an alternative, sufferers may consider the use of steroids.
Steroids are some of the most powerful anti-inflammatory medications available. They help supress the body's immune response and are used to treat a variety of conditions in which the body's immune system gets out of control. These include asthma, rheumatoid arthritis and hay fever.
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The Kenalog hay fever injection
Steroid treatments are available in tablet form, or in the form of an injection known as the. The injection effectively contains the same medication as steroid tablets, but the route of administration is different.
- When the steroids are injected instead of ingested they are deposited directly into the muscle. There, they leak into the bloodstream in a low dose over the course of around three weeks.
- Hay fever sufferers generally only require one injection to reduce symptoms for the entire hay fever season. Compared to taking tablets every day, that's very convenient.
- The Kenalog injection contains 40mg of the steroid triamcinolone. Each injection is roughly equal to the steroid dose from taking a 5mg tablet of prednisolone every day for around three weeks.
- One of the benefits of the injection is that it does not have to go through the liver or the digestive system, so you can administer a slightly lower dose than the tablet form.
- have helped many people to control hay fever symptoms. For severe sufferers, life can be seriously disrupted by hay fever.
- Untreated, hay fever has been shown to reduce exam results by between 5-10 per cent. Patients report feeling unwell or exhausted for several months at a time.
- The general public have been given a lot of information about steroids in recent years, not all of it positive. To be clear, many of the more severe side effects of steroids come from the use of very high doses over a long period of time. The hay fever injection contains a relatively low dose and carries a much lower risk of adverse side effects.
The hay fever injection risks
That's not to say that steroid medication is risk-free. It is possible to experience side-effects from the Kenalog injection or steroid tablets. These could include swelling, breathing difficulties, itchy skin or skin rashes and abdominal pain, amongst others. Before anyone agrees to a steroid treatment, they should be made explicitly aware of the potential side-effects, but it's also good to remember that they are relatively rare.
Hay fever warning: Five UK holiday spots allergy sufferers should look to avoid
HAY FEVER season coincides with summer holidays, so allergies can often be a nuisance for Britons on vacation. But there are places in the UK less and more likely to trigger symptoms. Among the holiday spots allergy sufferers should avoid is Immingham in North East Lincolnshire.Colnbrook in Berkshire has been named the best place for allergy sufferers to holiday, recording the lowest recorded levels across four pollutants, including carbon monoxide and Sulphur Dioxide, as well as tree and grass pollen.
We make it our priority to talk to each patient about the pros and cons of each treatment route. If opting for the injection, every patient is given an extensive written consent form outlining the risks and benefits.
We never encourage patients to opt for one treatment over another and we make it a priority to be transparent about the pros and cons. Our goal is to help them make an informed choice.
Why has the hay fever injection got a bad rep?
The main difference between the injection and the tablet form is that once you've had the injection, there's nothing that anyone can do to stop the steroids leaking into your blood stream. If you do suffer any side-effects, these may last for up to three weeks. If you're taking tablets, stopping the treatment will usually cause the symptoms to cease within twenty-four hours. In a nutshell – the injection is faster and more convenient than the tablets, but if you're unlucky enough to suffer side effects, you'll be stuck with them for longer.
The NHS have now ceased offering the Kenalog injection as a treatment for hay fever. In my opinion, it's easy to see why. In a system where you're aiming to minimise the time patients spend with doctors, tablets are a safe, effective treatment. At a private clinic where you have time to talk people through their options, I can't see any reason why you wouldn't allow patients to weigh up the pros and cons for themselves.
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Plus, the Country Living editor who's allergic to her jobIn the UK, the season can now stretch for seven months of the year, beginning with the release of tree pollen in March, peaking in June and July with grass pollen and carrying on until September when weed pollen and fungal spores spread. Antihistamines and steroid nasal sprays are still the go-to remedy for many, but for those looking to add to their allergy-fighting armoury or more natural solutions, we’ve cherry-picked some of the best.
The hay fever injection isn't for everyone
Anyone who has given antihistamine tablets, eye drops and nasal sprays a decent chance to work (as advised by a doctor) and who are still suffering from the symptoms of hay fever could consider a corticosteroid injection for their hay fever. Corticosteroids will improve the symptoms of an allergy and the injection is an effective way of getting steroids into your system with minimal side effects.
There are some people who need to be very careful with any sort of corticosteroid treatment. For example it can make diabetes worse and if your immune system is already suppressed then you need to consider very carefully with your doctor whether it is the right treatment for you.
Many private patients choose the injection thanks to its convenience. From my perspective, that's a perfectly reasonable choice. Given the correct information, patients are capable of making the right choice for their own health.
???? If you wish to discuss the possibility of getting the hay fever injection treatment privately, always speak to your GP or a qualified medical professional who should give you the tools to make an informed decision.
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It's that time of year, again!How can you tackle the symptoms of hayfever? Well, aside from tablets and eye-drops, you could try adding these foods that act as a natural antihistamine into your diet. Kim Pearson, a qualified nutritionist with over 10 years of experience in the field, explains what you should look for.