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Got a cold or suffering from hay fever?

In Canada, allergens such as pollen affect individuals throughout the year, including from spring until the first frost. Thankfully, there are measures to safeguard yourself from seasonal allergies and minimize contact with indoor and outdoor allergens.

As spring approaches, are you experiencing symptoms such as a continuously runny nose and nasal congestion? Is it possible that you have hay fever instead of a final winter cold?


Even though it's impossible to completely steer clear of allergens, you can limit your exposure and discover ways to alleviate your symptoms. Saline solutions, antihistamines, and corticosteroid nasal sprays are all effective allergy relief products that can help ease the symptoms of both seasonal and perennial allergies, depending on your personal preferences and symptoms.


To minimize the impact of allergies on your asthma, it's crucial to start treating them at the first sign of symptoms. You can enhance your understanding of this respiratory condition and acquire techniques to manage it effectively.

Asthma is a chronic respiratory illness marked by inflammation of the bronchi, which are the air tubes that carry air to the lungs. This inflammation, along with mucus buildup, narrows the air passages over time.

Inflammation in the airways causes them to be hyperreactive, resulting in an excessive and abnormal response to various stimuli. As a result, the bronchial tubes contract, leading to bronchospasms and difficulty breathing.

Asthma is a widespread health condition affecting over 8% of Canadians aged 11 and above. It is more commonly found in children and is the leading cause of school absences among them. It’s vital to treat asthma symptoms early to avoid exacerbation of the condition.

If someone’s asthma is controlled, they should experience little to no symptoms. On the other hand, uncontrolled asthma typically presents with the following most common symptoms:
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pressure
  • Wheezing
An asthma attack occurs when you experience one or more of these symptoms. Attacks can be relieved with drugs that provide immediate relief and drugs that decrease inflammation. However, a severe asthma attack can endanger your life depending on your health condition and the severity of your symptoms. You may need emergency medical care in some situations

Although the exact cause of asthma remains unknown, we are aware of specific triggers that can induce it. Here are a few examples of triggers:

  • Allergens (mould, dust mites, pollen)
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Strong odours
    • Pollutants
    • Viral respiratory infections
    • Certain medications (e.g., aspirin and ibuprofen)
    • Cold air
    • Exercise
    • Strong emotions
    • Stress

There are two primary classes of asthma medication that enable you to regulate your asthma symptoms: rescue medication and maintenance medication.

Rescue medication delivers prompt relief, especially during an asthma attack. They are short-acting bronchodilators that immediately open the bronchi to allow air to pass through. These medications are administered through inhalation devices, also known as pumps or inhalers. While they provide quick relief, they do not alleviate airway inflammation or contribute to long-term asthma management.

Maintenance medication, unlike rescue medication, must be taken regularly to be beneficial. This class of drugs includes anti-inflammatories (also known as corticosteroids), which decrease airway inflammation. Your physician may modify your dosage and frequency to help you manage various circumstances, such as colds or allergies.

If anti-inflammatories do not adequately manage your asthma, your doctor may prescribe additional maintenance medication, such as long-acting bronchodilators. Long-acting bronchodilators widen the bronchi over a period of 12 to 24 hours.

Your pharmacist can assist you in comprehending the function of each of your medications and is available to assist you and address your concerns. Do not hesitate to contact your pharmacist for assistance!