Itchy eyes, dry mouth and a tickly throat? Perhaps it is the start of the hay fever season or could you be one of up to 20per cent of the British public who experience the symptoms of an indoor allergy?
Indoor allergies can easily be mistaken for hay fever and the symptoms are similar to a cold. During the early phase, the first few hours, you may sneeze, get a runny or blocked nose, and experience dryness of the throat and eyes.
As the exposure to the allergen prolongs, you could begin to feel sleepy and generally unwell. Depending on the allergen, the symptoms could persist for weeks and may be intermittent, which is why it is often mistaken for more common allergies such as hay fever.
So, what could be the cause of an indoor allergy? There are many common allergens within the home or office environment, such as dust mites, which benefit from warmth and humidity meaning their numbers increase during the spring and summer correlating with the hay fever season. Other allergens include mould, dust from dead skin flakes or pet hair, and can be found in household chemicals, such as cleaning products.
Like hay fever, when someone with an indoor allergy comes into contact with the allergen they present typical allergy symptoms, ranging from mild sniffles to severe illness.
Treating indoor allergies is no different to hay fever, over the counter remedies such as antihistamine tables and nasal decongestants do the job. However, if you’re struggling to keep your symptoms under control with over the counter medicines, it’s worth consulting your pharmacist and asking about corticosteroids for persistent nasal congestion.
It is, of course, advisable to try and avoid the allergen. Depending on the cause, this could be achieved by using humidifiers, limiting pets to just some rooms, frequent hovering, washing ben linen on a high heat and cleaning upholstery.
If you suspect that you may have an indoor allergy, speak with your pharmacy and find out the best remedies to try and keep your symptoms under control.
For further advice you can always pop in and speak to one of our pharmacists at your local store.