Recent reports in the UK and the US indicate that this year’s hay-fever season arrived early, thanks mainly to a spate of warm, dry weather. Far from happy news for those millions of us whose runny nose, red, itchy eyes and blotchy face mark us out as sufferers. As far as we’re concerned, an extended hay-fever season is nothing to be sneezed at!

Hayfever linked to school results

In June of last year, a BBC report discussed research that suggested students who have hay-fever on exam day are 40% more likely to drop a grade. Notably, GCSEs and A-Level exams are held when pollen levels are highest.

With one in five of the British population already prone to hay-fever and experts suggesting that this may rise to one in every two people by 2030, it is no wonder then that news of a potential vaccine against hayfever was tagged by the Mailonline as a ‘holy grail’ solution.

Hayfever treatment sales surgeUntil such a miracle cure becomes available however, we can take comfort in the knowledge that anti-histamines, steroids, and decongestant treatments are already available to help us through. And it appears that many more of us are already coming to rely upon them, even earlier in the season this year as hayfever treatment sales surged by 40 per cent this May.

Many of these remedies come as nasal sprays that deliver fast, effective and welcome relief. As I sit here breathing slightly more easily following a quick squirt of nasal decongestant, I ponder the technology that delivers these benefits and how it is developed.

Testing nasal sprays

Nasal sprays can be either solutions or suspensions. If solutions then both bioavailability and delivery are an issue of droplet size. With suspensions things are more complicated: droplet size influences deposition, defining both target and retention, and the particle size of the active ingredient is linked with bioavailability. Some kind of imaging technique is needed to check the size of the API particle both in the original formulation and as delivered to account for any changes caused by the atomization process.

Those wishing to find out how Malvern’s instruments can help are directed to plug ‘nasal sprays’ into the search facility in our extensive knowledge library.