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Kenalog Injections: How Do They Work To Combat Hay Fever?

Kenalog Injections

This summer has been a struggle for hay fever sufferers in the UK. With consecutive days of high pollen counts, this Thursday 21st June being the highest recorded, one in four adults have been hit with a runny nose, itchy eyes, sneezing and headaches during the warmer weather. Many researchers are saying next summer will be even worse, with longer hay fever seasons occurring due to the climate crisis. On top of that, those living in polluted city areas can be expected to experience even worse symptoms.

Hay fever, or allergic rhinitis, affects millions of people worldwide, causing symptoms like sneezing, itching, nasal congestion, and watery eyes. These symptoms can significantly impact daily life, especially during high pollen seasons. While over-the-counter medications and lifestyle changes can help, some individuals require stronger interventions. One such intervention is the Kenalog injection. Not provided on the NHS this steroid injection holds a lot of controversy when used as a treatment for hay fever. Let’s look into how this works to suppress symptoms. 

What Is Hay Fever?

Hay fever is an allergic reaction to airborne substances, typically pollen. When these allergens are inhaled, the immune system overreacts, releasing histamines and other chemicals that cause inflammation and symptoms associated with hayfever. For many, this condition is seasonal, peaking during spring and summer when pollen levels are high.

What is Kenalog?

Kenalog, or triamcinolone acetonide, is a corticosteroid used to reduce inflammation and immune response. It is commonly administered as an injection for various inflammatory conditions, including severe hayfever. By introducing a potent anti-inflammatory agent directly into the body, Kenalog can provide longer-lasting relief than oral antihistamines or nasal sprays.

How Does Kenalog Work?

  1. Reduces Inflammation:
    • Mechanism: Kenalog works by inhibiting the production of substances that cause inflammation, such as cytokines and prostaglandins.
    • Effect: This reduces swelling and irritation in the nasal passages and other affected areas, alleviating symptoms like congestion and itching.
  2. Suppresses Immune Response:
    • Mechanism: Corticosteroids like Kenalog suppress the immune system’s overactive response to allergens.
    • Effect: This prevents the release of histamines and other chemicals that cause hay fever symptoms, providing relief even during high pollen periods.
  3. Long-Lasting Relief:
    • Mechanism: Unlike daily medications, a single Kenalog injection can maintain its anti-inflammatory effects for several weeks.
    • Effect: Patients can experience prolonged symptom relief, reducing the need for continuous medication and improving quality of life during allergy seasons.

The Kenalog Injection Process

  1. Consultation:
    • Step: Before receiving a Kenalog injection, patients must consult with a healthcare provider to ensure it is an appropriate treatment for their symptoms and health status.
    • Purpose: This consultation helps to rule out contraindications and assess the severity of the hayfever.
  2. Administration:
    • Step: Kenalog is administered as an intramuscular injection, usually into the gluteal muscle.
    • Purpose: This method ensures the medication is absorbed gradually, providing sustained relief.
  3. Post-Injection Care:
    • Step: After the injection, patients are monitored for any immediate side effects. They are also advised on what to expect in terms of symptom relief and potential delayed side effects.
    • Purpose: Ensures patient safety and maximises the benefits of the treatment.

Effectiveness of Kenalog Injections

Kenalog injections can be highly effective for individuals with severe hay fever that doesn’t respond well to other treatments. Many patients report significant relief from symptoms within a few days of the injection, with effects lasting several weeks to months.

Side Effects of Kenalog Injections

While Kenalog injections can be beneficial, they also carry potential side effects:

  1. Local Reactions:
    • Common: Pain or swelling at the injection site.
    • Rare: Infection or atrophy of the skin.
  2. Systemic Effects:
    • Common: Increased appetite, mood changes, and difficulty sleeping.
    • Rare but Serious: Suppression of the immune system, increased blood pressure, and blood sugar levels, especially with repeated injections.

Why Did The NHS Stop Hay Fever Injections?

The NHS stopped offering Kenalog injections for hayfever due to concerns over potential side effects and the long-term health implications of repeated steroid use. While effective, the risk of systemic side effects led to a shift towards safer, non-steroidal treatment options and management strategies.

Are Kenalog Injections Effective?

Despite the NHS’s stance, Kenalog injections remain a viable option for many individuals, particularly those with severe hayfever. When used judiciously and under medical supervision, they can provide significant relief and improve quality of life during allergy seasons.

Kenalog injections offer a powerful tool in the fight against severe hayfever. By reducing inflammation and suppressing the immune response, these injections can provide long-lasting relief for those suffering from debilitating symptoms. However, they should be used with caution, considering the potential side effects and under the guidance of a healthcare provider. If you struggle with severe hayfever, a thorough consultation should be sought out by your healthcare provider. 

Click here to learn more or please contact us for any further information or advice at info@privatemedicalclinic.co.uk

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