Patient education in the effective management of hayfever

Patient education in the effective management of hayfever

Janette Bartle Allergy nurse specialist (ENT), Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust, Ipswich, England.

Hayfever, or seasonal allergic rhinitis, is a common condition that affects one in four people in the UK. It is characterised by cold-like symptoms that may include a runny nose, itchy eyes, sneezing and nasal congestion or blockage. Patient education is important in improving patient concordance with treatment regimens and effectively managing hayfever symptoms, and may include advice on ways to avoid pollen. Encouraging patients to start treatment in advance of pollen dispersal, before they experience symptoms, enables optimum management of seasonal allergic rhinitis. Adjunctive treatment, using a nasal douche before applying a nasal corticosteroid spray, is recommended as an aid to nasal hygiene, to improve the efficacy of medication and to reduce allergic inflammation. Often a nasal corticosteroid spray is applied using an incorrect technique, rendering it ineffective. It is important for patients to understand how a nasal corticosteroid spray works and the need for continuous daily treatment using a correct application technique for maximum efficacy of the medication delivered. Standard operating procedures have been developed to demonstrate the effective technique for applying a nasal spray and to improve patients' understanding of the recommended nasal douching treatment.

Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2016.e9220


Peer review

All articles are subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software.

Received: 17 June 2015

Accepted: 02 October 2015

Published online: 13 June 2016