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Allergies FAQs

What is an allergy?

An allergy is an immune response caused by the body's sensitivity to a certain substance (aka - an allergen). Most allergens are harmless in themselves but to someone sensitive to a particular allergen, the white blood cells in their body over react when they come into contact with it and causes a reaction.

Symptoms to an allergy may include: sneezing, runny nose, watering eyes, itchy eyes & ears, wheezing (and asthma related symptoms), coughing, congested sinuses, shortness of breath, itchy skin, hives and allergic conjunctivitis.

Common Allergy Triggers / Allergens: (for some there may be multiple triggers to their allergic response)
- Pollen (hay fever)
- Mould spores
- House dust mites
- Pet dander
- Air pollution
- Diesel fumes
- Tobacco smoke, other smoke such as bonfire or barbecue.
- Air conditioning and central heating

FACT - It's a myth that people in the countryside suffer with hay fever more so than people in the city. Pollen travels far and wide and other factors in the city such as pollution stimulate allergic reactions in the same way.

FACT - There are different types of pollens which affect people's hay fever at different times of the year. This summary may help you to prepare for the months to come:
Tree Pollens: March-June • Grass Pollens: Late March-September • Weed Pollen: June-September • Mould/Fungi Spores: May-October.
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How to choose the right type of allergy treatment?

Oral Antihistamines are a very effective method to reduce allergic symptoms. Antihistamines also come in nasal sprays, creams/ointments and eye drops - However, 2 or more antihistamine products cannot be used together at the same time. There are other products besides antihistamines that you can try, including: decongestants, anti-inflammatory products, herbal and Homeopathic remedies. These products can be used effectively along side an antihistamine or on their own. For example, if your sinuses are stuffy and you keep sneezing, you could try an antihistamine tablet such as Piriton and a decongestant nasal spray such as Galpharm.

You may find the table below helpful in deciding on a suitable treatment:

SymptomsAntihistamines (only 1 antihistamine treatment can be used per dose)Non-Antihistamines & Alternatives Treatments for Infants
Sneezing and watery eyes (mild symptoms)
  • A tablet or syrup such as Piriton or Clarityn can help keep symptoms at bay as and when you need it.
  • Nelsons Pollenna; a Homeopathic remedy.
  • Lamberts Quercetin; a naturally occurring antihistamine.
  • For 2+ years: Penergan Elixir; suitable for all hayfever symptoms.
  • For children 6+ years: PollenShield Tablets; an antihistamine.
  • Sneezing with blocked nose
  • Benadryl Plus Capsules Provide 8 hours relief & a decongestant action.
  • OR - A nasal antihistamine such as Beconase or Care Hayfever Relief Nasal Spray.
  • Flixonase or Nasacort nasal sprays.
  • Natural options include; Salcura Sinose Spray or A. Vogel Luffa Nasal Spray.
  • Sterimar Breathe Easy Daily Nasal Hygiene Spray 100ml; safe even for babies.
  • Otrivine Child Nasal Drops; For children 2 + years (Consult doctor before-hand if under 2 years).
  • Sneezing & Sore, Itchy, Gritty Eyes (or Allergic conjunctivitis)
  • Take a one-a-day antihistamine such as Zirtek or Piriteze.
  • OR for eyes only, try Otrivine Antistin Eye Drops.
  • Eye drops containing Sodium Cromoglicate; Opticrom Eye Drops, Optrex Allegry
  • Optrex Eye Wash with Eye Bath; pH levels of tears.
  • A. Vogel Euphrasia; a herbal tincture for long term prevention.
  • Clarymist is an eyelid spray that soothes. Can be used along side an antihistamine & is suitable for contact lense wearers.
  • For 2 years+; An antihistamine syrup such as Clarityn Syrup or Benadryl Solution.
  • Eye drops containing Sodium cromoglycate can be used on children.
  • Hives/Nettle rash/Urticaria - Itchy red bumps on the skin, typically legs, arms and chest.
  • Piriton tablets x30 offer relief from all typical allergic symptoms including itchy skin.
  • OR - Anthisan or Benadryl Creams containing antihistamine.
  • Eurax Cream or Lotion offers excellent itch relief.
  • You may also find a Hydrocortisone Cream such as Dermacort to be more effective at calming the skin.
  • Salcura Intensive Spray; contains essential oils great for allergic rashes, dermatitis and eczema.
  • A. Vogel Urtica Tincture; Herbal remedy for allergic skin rashes.
  • Babies can be bathed in Eucerin Dry Skin Shower & Bath Therapy or Allergenics Baby Wash to soothe skin.
  • Salcura Gentle Spray; a natural product with essential oils great for rashes on babies, children and sensitive skin.
  • Allergy Related WheezingAn antihistamine may help. Seek advice from a doctor if you are taking theophylline for respiratory conditions.
  • For long term prevention take A. Vogel Luffa Tablets; With Anti-inflammatory, Antispasmodic, Desensitising action OR Lamberts Quercetin; Like a natural antihistamine, also helps with cardiovascular health.
  • Preventative measures...
  • Taking a One-a-Day antihistamine such as Benadryl to keep symptoms at bay.
  • A balm such as Happinose around the nostrils is an effective way of stopping allergens entering the nose.
  • Nasaleze; prevents running nose & sneezing or NeilMed SinuRinse; a sodium Chloride solution that reduces nasal irritation.
  • For long term allergy prevention; A. Vogel Luffa Tablets, Vega Allermex, A. Vogel Euphrasia 50ml or Lamberts Quercetin.
  • Boost the immune system with antioxidants such as Lamberts Toetal Sour Cherry Liquid; A tasty, powerful antioxidant.
  • Kill off dust mite colonies and mould spores with HealthGuard Total Hygiene DM1.
  • Nasaleze Mint Powder Spray; suitable for children with adult supervision.
    • Non-Sedating Antihistamines

      Non-Sedating Antihistamines

      Non-drowsy treatment of the symptoms of allergies and reactions to bites and stings. Suitable for those who drive or work machinery.

    • Sedating Antihistamines

      Sedating Antihistamines

      Treatment of the symptoms of allergies and reactions to bites and stings that can cause drowsiness. May be ideal for children who need to sleep the symptoms off.

    • Nasal Congestion

      Nasal Congestion

      For a stuffy nose and blocked sinuses choose from vapour rubs and nasal sprays, and other menthol remedies to ease breathing quickly. Choose long-lasting relief with decongestant tablets.

    • Hives (Urticaria)

      Hives (Urticaria)

      Urticaria, also known as nettle rash, hives or welts is a common allergic reaction. It appears on the skin as red, itchy bumps.