How to get rid of hay fever symptoms
Understanding what triggers your symptoms and avoiding the allergens as much as possible is one way to minimise your hay fever symptoms.
The following tips can help:
- use Vaseline around your nose (to stop the allergens entering your nasal passage)
- wear wraparound sunglasses (to prevent the allergens from coming into contact with your eyes)
- monitor the pollen count in your local area and stay indoors when it is high
- shower and wash your clothes when you come inside after being outdoors
- dry your clothes inside
- don’t keep flowers inside your home
- avoid walking on recently cut grass
- avoid smoke and smoking yourself as this can make your symptoms worse
- keep pets outside if possible during pollen season (as they can bring pollen into the house)
- a simple saline rinse can help clear the mucus in your nasal passages
Home remedies for hay fever
Hay fever is a common condition, and there are many suggestions for home remedies that can help manage them. Unfortunately none have been backed up by medical studies as effective treatments for hayfever. Some of these include:
- herbal teas such as liquorice, chamomile and nettle tea contain natural antihistamines and antioxidants, and the warm liquid can soothe your throat and clear your nose
- garlic and onion contain quercetin which has anti-inflammatory properties
- turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties
- eating local honey can help build your body’s resistance to local pollen
Hay fever treatment
There is no cure for hayfever but you can get treatment both over the counter from a pharmacist and as prescription medication from a doctor.
The most common medication for hay fever is an antihistamine. These block the chemical histamine from affecting your body. It is histamine that causes the symptoms of hayfever as it is released when your body reacts to something it perceives as harmful. Antihistamines can be given as a nasal spray, eye drops or tablets.
Eye drops can be either those that lubricate the eye and calm the irritation or antihistamine drops which block the histamine release in your eyes. Antihistamine drops are available over the counter or in a stronger strength as a prescription. Sodium cromoglycate eye drops are also available over the counter to treat hayfever symptoms.
Nasal sprays are available both as saline sprays which you can buy over the counter, and corticosteroid sprays such as Nasonex which you need a prescription to buy. Nasonex takes 12 to 48 hours to work and reduces the swelling inside your nose, which stops symptoms like itchiness, runny nose and sneezing. Some other steroid nasal sprays are available over the counter.
Hay fever medication you can buy over the counter includes brand names such as Piriton, Clarityn, Zirtek and Benadryl.
If the over-the-counter medications are not helping your symptoms, doctors can prescribe stronger antihistamines in tablets such as Telfast and Neoclarityn. You can get prescription hayfever treatment for these without a face-to-face consultation through Superdrug Online Doctor. Our doctors will ask you to complete a brief medical questionnaire, assess your situation, and quickly issue a prescription if this is suitable for you.
Telfast and Neoclarityn both work within one to three hours of taking them and do not usually cause drowsiness.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding you should speak to your doctor before taking hayfever medication to check which would be most suitable for you.
If your hay fever symptoms are very severe, there is also an option called immunotherapy. This is a specialised service and only carried out when the hay fever symptoms are very severe. Patients are given small amounts of pollen to slowly build up their immunity.