04.05.2011 Tackling Hay Fever


Hay fever is a form of allergic rhinitis caused by pollen or spores. Allergic rhinitis is a condition where an allergen (something that causes an allergic reaction) makes the inside of your nose inflamed (swollen). Hay fever affects the nose, sinuses (small air-filled cavities behind your cheekbones and forehead), throat and eyes. This causes sneezing, a runny nose, congestion, and itchy eyes.

The pollens that are spread by the wind are usually the main cause of such seasonal allergies. When pollen is present in the air, it can land in a person’s eyes, nose, lungs and on the skin thereby setting up an allergic reaction.
Hay fever is a common condition that affects around a fifth of people in the UK. Hay fever is more likely if there is a family history of allergies, particularly asthma or eczema.

Hay fever cannot be cured completely and avoiding pollens is virtually impossible, however there are a number of treatments available to relieve the symptoms. These include antihistamine tablets, nasal (nose) sprays and eye drops. Some can only be prescribed by a GP, but many are available over-the-counter in pharmacies. For persistent hay fever, a treatment known as immunotherapy can be used to gradually increase a person’s exposure to the allergen while monitoring their response. This can be effective at reducing the severity of allergic reaction, but is not suitable for everyone. For more information in this regard please consult your GP.


The Workforce Wellness EAP carries a 24/7 medical helpline staffed by NHS trained nurses, so for eligible employees and their family members advice can be obtained simply by calling into the EAP Freephone Number.  For more information about your EAP please contact your HR Department.


If you are an HR Manager and your organisation does not yet have an EAP in-place, please call us to discuss how we might be of assistance.


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