Direct Chemist Outlet: Living with allergies
What causes allergies? The biggest spring allergy trigger is pollen – tiny grains released into the air by trees, grasses, and weeds to fertilise other plants.
When pollen grains get into the nose of someone who’s allergic, their immune system goes into overdrive. The body’s immune system mistakes the pollen for foreign invaders, and releases antibodies – substances that normally identify and attack bacteria, viruses, and other illness-causing organisms. The antibodies attack the allergens, which leads to the release of a chemical called histamine into the blood. Histamine is responsible for the early symptoms of allergies.
Other common, non-seasonal triggers for allergies include animal dander (tiny flakes of skin, fur or feathers), dust mites and mould.
What are the symptoms?
- A runny nose – clear, watery discharge
- A blocked nose
- Watery, red or puffy eyes
- Itchy nose, eyes and/or mouth
- Dark circles under your eyes
- A sore throat, tickly cough and husky voice
- Bad breath.
It is common for spring allergy sufferers to assume their symptoms are caused by the common cold. Talk to your local Direct Chemist Outlet pharmacist if you are uncertain, especially if you have had a cold for longer than a week.
What can I do to treat my allergies?
Although there is no magical cure for spring allergies, there are a number of ways to combat them, from medication to household habits: allergen avoidance, medications* and immunotherapy. * Some medications are not suitable for everyone – ask your Direct Chemist Outlet pharmacist for advice specific to you.
DISCLAIMER: This material contains general information about medical conditions and treatments and is intended for educational purposes only. It does not constitute medical or professional advice, nor should it be used for the purposes of diagnosing or treating any illness. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your local pharmacist or health care provider to obtain professional advice relevant to your specific circumstances.