My favorite season in Japan is definitely spring. You’ve got cherry blossoms, fair weather, and the official end of winter. The only problem is that with spring comes hay fever. You know the deal, constant sneezing, a runny nose, and itchy eyes that that can only come from an overabundance of pollen.
So with hay fever hell just around the corner, it’s time to stay ahead of the curve with some potent hay fever medicine. The only problem? Navigating through all those labels. After all, drugstores literally have entire sections dedicated to fighting off that pesky pollen.
Know the basic language surrounding hay fever
Here are some kanji found on over-the-counter medicine to look for depending on your symptoms.
|Cedar-tree pollen||スギ花粉||sugi kafun|
|Itchy eyes||目がかゆい||me ga kayui|
|A general word for anti-allergy treatments||抗アレルギー薬||kouarerugiyaku|
|Medicine for itchy eyes||花粉症目薬||kafunshoumegusuri|
|Medicine for stuffed nose||鼻炎薬||bienyaku|
Should OTC not be enough to relieve your symptoms, Japan has a whole host of hay fever products that help with those itchy eyes.
Looking at the package
One thing that I never appreciated before coming to Japan is that there are many different ways to take your medicine. After all, not all of us are okay swallowing pills the size of a reasonably big beetle. Here are a few different types.
|For internal use only||内服||naifuku|
|Containing fexofenadine hydrochloride||フェキソフェナジン塩酸塩||fekisofenajin ensanen|
|Containing epinastine hydrochloride||エピナスチン塩酸塩||epinasuchin ensanen|
Medicines that contain fexofenadine, are mainly used to alleviate allergies related to skin conditions like dermatitis or eczema. Those with epinastine hydrochloride are used to treat bronchial asthma or food allergies.
These may be joined with the kanji 入り, meaning inside the packet, so don’t be confused if you see this mark next to any of these.
Read the full article on GaijinPot Study.