Ease Hay Fever Symptoms

Whilst summer brings long nights and the sunshine, it also brings a high pollen count and therefore, hay fever. It’s estimated over 10 million people in England
alone suffer from hay fever[1] but the real figure could be much higher. If you’re reading this article, it most likely means that includes you or a loved one too! So, what are typical hay fever symptoms, how long do they last and is there anything you can do to ease them?\

What is hay fever?

Hay fever is an allergic reaction which occurs at particular times of the year, usually March – September. It is known as seasonal rhinitis and occurs from a reaction to pollen from grass, trees and weeds in the spring and summer months. It can affect both adults and children and whilst there is a list of common symptoms, people with hay fever tend to experience varying symptoms and severity depending on their individual allergy and location. So, what are the symptoms associated with hay fever?

What are typical hay fever symptoms?

  •  Itchy eyes/throat
  •  Sneezing or blocked/runny nose
  •  Watering eyes
  •  Red eyes (allergic conjunctivitis)
  •  Shortness of breath
  •  Tiredness
  •  Sensation of mucus running down the back of the throat
  •  Headache
  •  Earache
  • Coughing
  • Itchy throat, mouth or ears

The severity or selection of symptoms depends also on the pollen count.
It is not known why some people have hay fever and others do not. It is caused
when the body makes allergic antibodies to certain substances, like pollen, dust
mites or mould.

How long do hay fever symptoms last?

Whilst hay fever symptoms may feel like a cold, unfortunately they are not as short lived. Hay fever symptoms can last anything from a few weeks to a few months and so understandably, this can become incredibly tiresome.

How long does it take to get rid of hay fever?

If only this was a one size fits all answer but alas, that is unfortunately not the
case. Getting rid of hay fever is individual to us all, our symptoms and also
what the pollen count is like where we are. There is also no ‘cure’ for hay fever,
it is one of those things that needs ongoing management. Having said that,
there are things that you can do to reduce the impact of hay fever symptoms.

How do I manage my hay fever?

1.      Keeping tabs on the pollen count can really help reduce hay fever symptoms. You can do this by local weather forecasts and if
the pollen count is particularly high, staying inside will reduce symptoms.

2.      When pollen count is high, don’t dry your clothes outside (where pollen may attach to your clothes and therefore come inside your home).

3.      Wash your hair and clothes when you arrive home on days the pollen count is high.

4.      Applying Vaseline or similar around your nose creates a barrier for the pollen from entering the nose.

5.      Keep windows and doors closed on high pollen count days.

6.      Regularly clean and vacuum the house during pollen season.

7.      You can also buy pollen filter air vents for your car and also specific vacuum filters.

There area lso medications that are available over the counter at your pharmacist that may help. It’s important to seek medical advice for this or speak to the pharmacist directly before taking any medication.

These could include:

  •  Antihistamines

Antihistamines are the most popular treatment for hay fever and other types of allergies. There are many different types of antihistamine, some of which may make you feel drowsy. It’s important to get advice from the pharmacist as to which may help you.

  •  Nasal sprays

Steroid nasal sprays and other types of nasal sprays are available at your pharmacy and also via your doctor. These are anti-inflammatory, so can help calm irritation within the nose.

  •   Ectoin

Ectoin is a hay fever treatment which doesn’t have a drowsy effect. It’s
a naturally occurring substance found in organisms that live in extreme
conditions; i.e. very hot or very cold environments. It has a protective
effect, as it creates a coating of water molecules around the mucous membranes
of the skin and therefore helps protect the skin from allergens and irritants.

  • Eye drops

If you had red or itchy eyes, eye drops can be used to reduce inflammation and irritation.

  • Cooling masks

Cooling masks can also be a good way to reduce puffiness, swelling, soreness or

  •  Other homeopathic remedies

Homeopathic remedies are those which are natural and designed to be used alongside conventional medicines. There are a few of these which may also help reduce symptoms.

How to reduce hay fever symptoms at night?

Arguably one of the most irritating times to have hay fever symptoms is during the night when you want to get some shut eye. Sometimes symptoms of hay fever can be worsened with dust mites which are often found within the home.

There a few things you can do before bedtime to help reduce symptoms.

      -  Shower before bed

     -   Regularly change bed linen

     -   Regularly clean/plump pillows

     -  Close windows and doors

    -   Use an air purifier

    -  Take an antihistamine before bed (if your doctor/pharmacist agrees)

If you are still struggling with hay fever symptoms it’s a good idea to talk to your
doctor, who may be able to give individual advice.

Natural hay fever remedies

There are a few natural remedies that some people find useful for hay fever, and likewise when they have a cold or the flu.

-   Vitamin C 

Some people find taking vitamin C is helpful for hay fever and overall wellbeing.

-   Honey and ginger

Hot water with honey and ginger is an old favourite when feeling unwell. Some people use these for hay fever symptoms too.

-  Chamomile tea

With its soothing and antioxidant flavonoids, some like to drink this as a hot tea and others like to use the teabags to make a cold compress.

We hope these hay fever tips and tricks ease your symptoms – a runny nose and itchy eyes is not enjoyable for anyone!

Eating a balanced and nourishing diet is always important when maintaining overall health – you can find heaps of recipes and ideas on our blog. Try this seven day meal plan for easy, healthy wholesome recipes.