Itchy eyes, runny nose and sneezing? If these symptoms are all too familiar you're more likely to be the one in five Australians affected by allergic rhinitis (hayfever).
New research from the United States supports ditching antihistamine tablets in favour of a nasal steroid spray.
Doctor Kin Lee said the revised American guidelines are in line with what Australia recommends. When it comes to treating allergic rhinitis, a nasal steroid spray should be the starting point.
Steroid nasal sprays are effective over tablets because they treat many of the pathway mechanism that cause allergic rhinitis.
"Steroidal nasal sprays are a preventative treatment to
be used daily and started just before
hayfever season begins," said Doctor Lee.
Taking an antihistamine tablet ahead of being exposed to a known allergen, like mowing the lawn, can be helpful for relieving hayfever symptoms. However, antihistamine tablets do not resolve the underlying inflammation or cause.
"If your current hayfever treatment doesn't seem to be working, consult your local GP," said Doctor Lee.