Tips to Relieve Hay Fever

Hay Fever & Tips to Manage Allergens

April showers bring May flowers. But if you’re like the 10% to 30% of the world’s population who are prone to allergies, they also bring hay fever! While it may not be possible to completely prevent or cure hay fever, the good news is there are many things you can do to treat your allergy symptoms. In this article, we’ll explore those options and give you tips to relieve your hay fever symptoms that really work.

In this post:

  • What is hay fever?
  • Hay fever symptoms
  • Food Pollen Syndrome & Cross Sensitivity
  • Hay fever causes
  • Hay fever preventions
  • Hay fever Dos & Don’ts
  • Hay fever medicines & pharmacy toolkit

What is hay fever?

Hay fever (allergic rhinitis) is an allergic reaction that occurs when your immune system mistakenly identifies harmless substances as a threat. These are usually allergens such as pollen, dust, moulds, or animal dander. This results in an inflammatory response that causes symptoms you are probably all too familiar with already—runny nose, itchy eyes, and congestion.

Unlike the common cold, these symptoms can last for several weeks or even months. To be diagnosed with hay fever, you must have: 2 nasal symptoms for at least 1 hour daily for a minimum of 12 weeks. Otherwise, it is probably just a stubborn cold.

Hay fever symptoms

Your hay fever symptoms can vary in severity and duration, but they most typically include:

Food Pollen Syndrome, cross sensitivity

If you are prone to hay fever, you should be aware of food pollen syndrome, or oral allergy syndrome (OAS). This is a cross-sensitivity to foods, such as certain raw fruits, vegetables, or nuts. Tose foods contain proteins that are similar to those found in tree and grass pollen. So they can trigger hay fever symptoms when you eat them.

The reverse can also occur. Tree and grass pollen can trigger food allergy symptoms in people with food allergies. Cook your fruits or vegetables to help reduce or eliminate your risk of an allergic reaction. If you suspect you have food pollen syndrome, it is important to speak with a pharmacist.

What causes hay fever?

Hay fever is caused by an allergic reaction to environmental allergens, such as pollen, dust, animal dander, and mould spores. Especially if pollen counts are high, defined as 9.7-12 grams of pollen per cubic meter. When your immune system encounters these substances, it produces an antibody called immunoglobulin E (IgE). That triggers the release of chemicals, such as histamine, that cause inflammation in your nasal passages, eyes, and throat.

Certain risk factors may increase your likelihood of developing hay fever, or make your existing symptoms worse, including:

Tips to relieve hay fever

If you are prone to hay fever, the best thing you can do is:

Hay fever Do’s & Don’ts

Stay indoorsDon’t spend too much time outdoors
Close windowsDon’t bring in flowers
Use HEPA air filtersDon’t cut the grass
Clean your home and counter tops frequentlyDon’t smoke or be around smoke
Wash your hair and clothes frequentlyDon’t hang clothes to dry outside
Put Vaseline on the edge of your nostrilsDon’t gorget to take your allergy medication
Drink lots of waterDon’t ignore your allergy symptoms

Hay fever medicines

Once you have hay fever, over-the-counter allergy medications should be enough to calm down your symptoms. But if your hay fever symptoms get worse or they are stopping you from working or living a normal, active life, be sure to talk to a pharmacist or healthcare professional.

Here are some common hay fever treatment options:

Non-drowsy antihistamines are generally the best option

Hay fever pharmacy medicine tool kit
For most hay fever sufferers, we recommend you have the following over-the-counter (OTC) treatments or shop medicines on hand:
NeilMed Sinus Rinse - 120 Sachets

NeilMed Sinus Rinse – 120 Sachets

The NeilMed Sinus Rinse Kit is your solution for effective nasal irrigation and sinus relief. 

Benadryl 10 mg One a Day - 7 Tablets

Benadryl 10 mg One a Day – 7 Tablets

Benadryl Allergy One A Day tablets provide effective relief from hay fever and allergy symptoms, helping you stay comfortable during allergy flare-ups.

Sudafed Blocked Nose Nasal Spray - 15ml

Sudafed Blocked Nose Nasal Spray – 15ml

Sudafed Blocked Nose Nasal Spray is a convenient daily remedy for symptoms caused by allergies that affect your nose.

Beconase Hayfever Relief Nasal Spray - 100 Sprays

Beconase Hayfever Relief Nasal Spray – 100 Sprays

Beconase Hayfever Relief Nasal Spray is a fast-acting, non-drowsy nasal spray designed to provide relief from the symptoms of hayfever and other allergies.

Optrex Allergy Eye Drops 2% w/v - 10ml

Optrex Allergy Eye Drops 2% w/v – 10ml

Optrex Allergy Eye Drops provide relief for eye allergy symptoms by addressing the root cause and calming irritated eyes. These drops help alleviate redness, itchiness, and watery eyes that may occur during an allergic reaction or hay fever. The portable dropper bottle allows for easy application wherever you are, making it an ideal solution for those who do not want their allergies to hinder their daily activities. The active ingredient in Optrex Allergy Eye Drops is sodium cromoglicate

Main takeaways

  • Hay fever is caused by an allergic reaction to environmental allergens, such as pollen, dust, animal dander, mould spores, and pollution.
  • Hay fever can occur at any time of the year, not just in the spring.
  • The best way to avoid hay fever is to know your triggers and avoid contact with them.
  • Over-the-counter allergy medications, such as non-drowsy antihistamines, should be enough to calm down most of your hay fever symptoms


Pawankar, R., et al (2012). World Health Organization. White Book on Allergy 2011-2012 Executive Summary.

Hellings, P., et al. (2017). EAACI position paper. Non-allergic rhinitis: Position paper of the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology

Takizawa, H., (2011). Korean J Intern Med. Impact of Air Pollution on Allergic Diseases


PillSorted is a full service pharmacy that delivers trusted pharmacy products, over-the counter medications, and the prescriptions your doctor recommends for your allergy or hay fever treatment, directly to your door. Your PillSorted pharmacist is happy to answer your questions about hay fever diagnosis and treatments at 0333 4050380 or help@pillsorted.com.

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