NHS warning of common side effects of hay fever treatment

Steroid nasal sprays used to treat hay fever can cause nosebleeds, warns the NHS.

Hay fever itself is unlikely to cause nosebleeds, but it is a common side effect of steroid nasal sprays that many use to treat hay fever. The NHS warns that a burning sensation in the nose or a dry, scratchy throat are also side effects of the popular hay fever treatment.

One in five people in the UK suffer from hay fever, which is an allergic reaction to certain types of pollen. Symptoms are worst during the summer months when pollen counts are often highest.

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Hay fever is usually at its worst for people allergic to grass pollen between May and July . While people whose condition is caused by weed pollen are moresensitive from July to September .

Can hay fever cause nosebleeds?

It is true that many hay fevers suffer from nosebleeds. However, these are caused by the symptoms of the disease, as opposed to hay fever.

Heavy sneezing and repeatedly blowing your nose, for example, can damage the tissues inside your nose or burst some of the many blood vessels inside your nose.

Steroid nasal sprays are also sometimes used to treat hay fever. In some cases, the chemicals inside the sprays can also cause minor damage to blood vessels and lead to nosebleeds.

Experts recommend spraying nasal sprays at a slight angle to your nose rather than straight up to reduce the chance of nosebleeds from a ruptured blood vessel.

The NHS patient website has advice on how to deal with a nosebleed once it occurs. He recommends sitting and leaning forward with your head tilted forward, then pinching your nose just above your nostrils for 10-15 minutes and breathing through your mouth until the bleeding disappears.

Hay fever symptoms

Common symptoms of hay fever are similar to those of a bad cold, but they can vary from person to person. They often include a runny, itchy, and stuffy nose; itchy, watery eyes; sneezing and sinusitis caused by inflammation.

Similar to a cold, it can be very uncomfortable and a miserable experience when it flares up. Because it’s caused by pollen and not a virus, sufferers can have symptoms that last for months at a time. People with asthma may have it particularly badly and experience shortness of breath and chest pain.

Although there are steps you can take to offset some of the symptoms. These include rubbing petroleum jelly around your nostrils to trap pollen and wearing sunglasses to prevent it from entering your eyes.

People with hay fever are also advised to stay indoors, keep windows closed, shower and change clothes regularly to eliminate spores. There are also treatments that you can get over-the-counter from a pharmacy or with a prescription from your GP.

Typical symptoms of hay fever

  1. Sneezing and coughing
  2. A runny or stuffy nose
  3. Itchy, red or watery eyes
  4. Sore and ticklish throat, mouth, nose and ears
  5. Loss of smell
  6. Pain around temples and forehead
  7. Headache
  8. Earache
  9. Feeling tired

If you have asthma, the pollen that causes hay fever can also trigger your asthma symptoms. Here are some signs, according to Asthma.orgthat indicate that your asthma is caused by hay fever:

  1. feel hissing
  2. feel out of breath
  3. Have a feeling of tightness in the chest
  4. Cough more than usual
  5. Need to use your rescue inhaler three times a week or more

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