You're feeling ill, how to know what you're dealing with:

Hay fever season is just around the corner but after two years of various lockdowns and social distancing, many of us are still suffering from winter colds as our immune systems are lower than usual. Moreover, we are still dealing with COVID-19 even with vaccinations. Each of these health concerns can have very similar symptoms and so we wanted to clear some things up for you so you can navigate the next few months as easily and healthily as possible.

Hay fever:

What causes it?

Hay fever is often assumed to just be a common allergic reaction to pollen, however it also includes having a reaction to allergens such as dust mites and animal hair. It is usually worst between late March and September due to both the weather and high pollen counts, however some people suffer all year round. Hay fever is caused by your immune system identifying a harmless airborne substance as harmful causing the production of antibodies in your body. When you encounter this substance again, those antibodies will signal for the release of chemicals such as histamine into your bloodstream which is what causes the symptoms we associate with hay fever.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of hay fever include postnasal drip, itchy eyes or throat, watering, red eyes, headaches, blocked sinuses, shortness of breath, tiredness.

What is the treatment?

Over the counter antihistamines are effective with seasonal hay fever. For severe cases steroid treatment can help to suppress the hay fever symptoms.

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Common Cold:

What causes it?

The common cold is caused by more than 200 different viruses, the most common are rhinoviruses. Most people get colds in winter and spring. However, it is possible to get it any time of the year. It is predicted that more people may be susceptible to common cold viruses this year because the collective immunity to typical cold and flu viruses may have waned over the past years due to Covid -19 precautions.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms include mainly running nose, sore throat, coughing, sneezing which can make people feel unwell but able to carry on as normal.

What is the treatment?

Typically, the aches and fever can be treated with either paracetamol or ibuprofen. While decongestant sprays or tablets are used to relieve a blocked nose.


Why do we still need to worry about it?

Even with vaccines and changes in rules, COVID-19 is still present because new variants continue to emerge and could either; render vaccines less effective or cause more severe disease that are resistant to antivirals. Even if you are vaccinated, there is still a chance that you could catch COVID-19.

What are the symptoms?

A wide range of symptoms ranging from mild to severe including fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headaches, sore throat, congestion, runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhoea, a new loss of taste or smell.

What is Long Covid?

Covid-19 can cause symptoms that last weeks and months after the initial infection has gone. This is called Long Covid. If these symptoms are having a big impact, referral to a specialist rehabilitation service can help manage the symptoms and help recovery.

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How the Doctors Clinic Group can help:

Hay fever: Our GPs can also provide you with a range of medication including antihistamines, nasal sprays, and eye drops.  

Common Cold: See a GP if your symptoms last longer than 3 weeks or if they suddenly become worse. To ensure you never have to wait to see a doctor, learn more about our private corporate GP services here.

COVID-19: We offer private on-site testing for corporates, all of our GPs are educated on the severity of Long Covid so you can rest assured your concerns will be addressed.