Hay fever “enough to go to the hospital? For those who are wondering “Is it worth it to go to the hospital? | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Hay fever “enough to go to the hospital? For those who are wondering “Is it worth it to go to the hospital?

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Cedar pollen has reached its peak, and hay fever sufferers are still having a hard time.

While there are many anti-hay fever medicines available at drugstores, there are actually many medicines that cannot be prescribed without a visit to a hospital. If you feel that your current anti-hay fever medication is not good enough, it may be a good idea to visit a hospital. We spoke with pharmacist and writer Ikumi Takagaki.

This year’s pollen count is said to be higher than the previous season.

When over-the-counter medicines do not help, seeing a doctor is an option.

We know that it is better to see a doctor if symptoms persist even after taking self-care measures, but we also know that “it is not enough to go to a hospital? However, are you hesitant to see a doctor because you think, “Is it worth it to go to a hospital? Here are two reasons why seeing a doctor is a good choice.

1_Doctors will give you the right medicine for your symptoms.

There are many over-the-counter medicines that can be used to treat hay fever, but if you see a doctor, you will have a wider range of choices. Moreover, the doctor will prescribe the medicine that is best suited to your symptoms.

For example, there are antihistamines (second generation) that relieve the symptoms of runny nose and sneezing that are given at hospitals. Some of these drugs can be purchased at drugstores, but there are many that can only be prescribed at the hospital.

Many drugs with recent release years are not yet available over the counter.

Other anti-hay fever medications that you can get from the hospital include “antileukotriene drugs” that play a role in improving symptoms of nasal congestion, and oral and nasal “steroid drugs” that can help improve either sneezing, runny nose, or nasal congestion.

The “Guidelines for Rhinologic Allergy Treatment, 2020 Edition” of the Japanese Society of Otolaryngology and Immunology/Allergy recommends the following 1) or 2) for treatment with medications when symptoms are relatively mild that make it difficult to decide whether to continue self-care or to see a doctor.

  • (1) Either one type of medication to relieve sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion, etc., either oral or nasal drops.
  • (2) Drink to relieve sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion, etc. + nasal drops of steroids.

In the case of the author, for example, he told the doctor at the time of his visit that his runny nose did not stop even after taking over-the-counter fexofenadine.

After listening to my complaint, the doctor suggested that I change the medication to something other than fexofenadine and see how it goes.

He then suggested option (2), asking me if I would like to try nasal drops of steroids as well. Steroid nasal drops are reported to be effective not only for the three symptoms of hay fever (sneezing, runny nose, and congestion) but also for eye symptoms.

I chose (2) without hesitation, but the option of “nasal drops” never occurred to me when dealing with self-care with over-the-counter medicines.

I am ashamed to admit that I was not very good at using nasal sprays, thinking that they “look painful” and “seem like a lot of work to use every day.

In fact, when I actually tried nasal drops, I did not feel any pain or irritation as I had imagined, and from about the third day of use, I did not feel any nasal symptoms that had been bothering me.

After consultation with a doctor, the patient can choose the appropriate medication for his/her symptoms.

2_Serenity of knowing that you will be given medicine that suits your lifestyle.

Antihistamines are used to relieve the symptoms of runny nose and sneezing caused by hay fever. It is known that side effects may include drowsiness and “impaired performance,” which is a decrease in work efficiency without you even realizing it.

If you feel sleepy at school or work, or if you are driving or doing other activities and your concentration or judgment deteriorates without you noticing it, you may have trouble.

For example, if you consult with a hospital and say, “I drive for work,” or “I don’t want to be sleepy because it’s before an exam,” the doctor will select and prescribe a medication that suits your lifestyle.

When taking antihistamines for the first time, keep in mind that there may be physical changes such as drowsiness or impaired judgment

Some people may be coping with hay fever through self-care using over-the-counter medications.

However, if you are unable to cope with painful symptoms through self-care, early consultation with a doctor is a good option to prevent a decline in quality of life during hay fever season. If you feel that your symptoms are interfering with your unique lifestyle, do not hesitate to see a doctor.

Wearing a mask is self-explanatory, but hay fever sufferers should continue to wear masks

The basic measure against hay fever is to prevent pollen from getting into your eyes and nose. Special items such as goggles for hay fever are not necessary. Ordinary eyeglasses and a mask will do the trick.

According to “For Accurate Treatment of Hay Fever (2nd Edition)” published by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, the number of pollens in the nose without a mask was 1,848, whereas with a regular mask, the number was 537, about one third. Similarly, the number of pollens on the conjunctiva without glasses was 791, compared to 460 with regular glasses.

Although the wearing of masks as a measure against new coronavirus infection is now left to individual judgment, it seems that hay fever sufferers should continue to wear masks for a while longer during the season when pollen is in the air.

  • Interview and text Ikumi Takagaki

    I am a pharmacist-writer who has been pursuing a parallel career as a pharmacist and a writer. She also interviews and writes about medical care, nursing care, and health not only for people but also for animals.

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