Are you among the 4.6 million Australians who are affected by allergies? With almost 20% of the Australian population now experiencing an allergic disease, you are not alone. Your local Blooms The Chemist Pharmacist can advise you on managing your allergies, and help you get back to making the most of Australia’s beautiful outdoors, bushwalks and gardens.
What is an allergy?
Every immune system is unique as many factors are at play such as seasons, age, and genetic predisposition. For some, allergies will occur when their immune system reacts to particular substances (allergens), and for others these same allergens are completely harmless. When it comes to hay fever, some of the most common reactions are sneezing, runny, or itchy nose, throat or eyes, nasal congestion and headaches.
What is an antihistamine and how can they help?
There is a range of different medications available to treat allergies, and antihistamines are often the first go-to. When your body responds to an allergen it makes a chemical called histamines, which is what is responsible for the symptoms you may be experiencing. Antihistamines are designed to reduce or block histamines, and therefore help to stop allergy symptoms.
What is a decongestant and how does it work?
The purpose of decongestants is to cut down on the fluid in the lining of your nose and relieve swollen nasal passages and congestion. Some medicines combine both an antihistamine and decongestant.
In addition to your medication options, avoiding or minimising exposure to allergens that you know will trigger a reaction is also an essential part of your allergy management plan. If you are particularly sensitive to pollen, it’s a good idea to avoid outdoor activity when the pollen count is high – you can check the pollen forecast online if you live in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane or Canberra.