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1st April 2021  •  Read 0 times

Itching to know about hayfever? Find out more with Mr Shakir

What is hayfever?

Hayfever is a common condition in which people are allergic to plant pollens. The main groups of pollens are from trees, grasses and weeds. You may be allergic to one or more of these pollen groups.

Hayfever is more common in those who have a personal or family history of certain conditions such as asthma, eczema or hayfever.

When does it tend to happen?

Tree pollen is released during spring time, grass pollen peaks at the end of spring and into early summer, with weed pollen being more common in late autumn. Most people with hayfever are allergic to grass pollens.

Pollen levels are actually higher at night – during the day, warm air rises taking pollen with it. As air cools overnight, this pollen returns to ground level, explaining why some people are more troubled overnight and first thing in the morning.

What do people experience?

The parts of your body exposed to pollen are those that become troublesome, explaining why sufferers experience problems with red watery and itchy eyes, blocked and runny noses, sneezing, a dry cough, itchy roof of mouth and throat.

With these symptoms, it is common to experience poor sleep, daytime fatigue, reduced quality of life, poor smell and taste, worsening of asthma and more frequent ear infections in children.

What can I do about it?

Basic measures are to limit your exposure to pollens that you know are likely to trigger your hay fever. A healthy diet, drinking less alcohol and getting good sleep will all decrease your body’s reaction to pollen.

Medications can be obtained over the counter (eye drops, nose sprays and antihistamine tablets), but many more effective medications are prescription only. For severe cases, some types of nose surgery and immunotherapy can be very helpful.

What tests are there?

The two main tests for hay fever are a skin prick allergy test – a small amount of different pollens are placed on your skin and the amount of reaction measured. Any allergy treatments will need to be stopped for a short period before this test so as to not interfere with the results. This is not currently offered at OSD Healthcare.

Alternatively, a blood test (RAST IgE) test can be taken so show the amount of allergy antibodies in your blood for certain substances. This can take place here at OSD Healthcare.

What can OSD offer me?

At OSD we offer specialists in General Practice, ENT Surgery and Chest Medicine who can help you with your troublesome hay fever.

(Mr Adam Shakir, ENT Consultant, March 2021, info@mradamshakir.co.uk)

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About the author
Mr Adam Shakir

Consultant ENT Surgeon

I undertook my undergraduate and postgraduate training in the UK, with undergraduate studies at Bristol University and postgraduate specialist training in the North East of England and Wales. Whilst in the North East, I completed laboratory based published research into sinusitis that was presented internationally.

Additionally, I completed Fellowship training in Australia’s largest cancer centre covered further skills in salivary gland problems, voice, swallow, neck lumps and skin cancers.

Ear, nose and throat is a great branch of medicine to work in. I enjoy the wide variety of people who come through the door, from the newborn to those in their senior years, and everyone in between.

There is a great mixture of being able to solve people’s problems in the clinic or in the operating theatre. The fact that I am able to help with people’s voice, swallow, hearing, smell and taste brings me great pleasure – these things are taken for granted until they aren’t as they should be.

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