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Top Tips on How to Treat the Symptoms of Hay Fever



Spring in the Northern hemisphere can bring misery to the many who suffer from hay fever.  Allergy season can last from late March to as long as September when those allergens - especially tree pollen, grasses and weeds - are most prevalent in the natural environment and can lead to sneezing, watery eyes and itchy noses.

We recently shared our top ten natural ways to combat the discomfort of hay fever.

But there are other non natural suggestions that may be helpful too...

What else can you do to help?

Keep an eye on pollen forecasts as these can be a useful tool for working out when you are more likely to suffer.

Those same forecasts can help you to work out when to start with nasal sprays as such over-the-counter corticosteroid nasal sprays are usually sufficient for all mild allergy symptoms, helping to reduce inflammation and alleviate nasal symptoms.

If you want to be one step ahead, consider starting a nasal steroid spray one month before your symptoms usually appear.  To use such a spray correctly, the tip of the bottle should be aimed towards the back of the head and not upwards. It is helpful to commence treatment prior to symptoms as sprays do need some days to become fully effective.

If you are especially prone to sneezing and itching during the height of the hay fever season, consider adding in antihistamines as these are fast acting, providing relief.

A long term solution is start a course of immunotherapy which takes three years and involves desensitising yourself to pollen daily.  This can be a considerable commitment.  Immunotherapy injections are also available.

Avoid steroid injections as these can be a health risk.  Side effects can include the suppression of your own immune system, the appearance of osteoporosis, cataracts or even the breakdown of your joints (avascular necrosis).

Avoiding pollen in the first place

  • What you wear and when you bathe can also have an impact.  For example, you can protect yourself against pollen by showering immediately afterwards if you have spent a long period of time outdoors.
  • Wearing wraparound sunglasses and and hats can help to protect your eyes and head from pollen exposure.
  • Change your clothes when coming indoors is also a good idea.
  • If the pollen count is expected to be especially high, stay indoors and keep the windows shut.

How to safeguard your home

Regularly washing your pets (especially if they spend a lot of time outdoors) can help to reduce the allergen laden dander they carry.


Adjust your home's humidity levels.  Below fifty percent to help to deter dust mites and mold - two common indoor allergens.  

Using air purifiers with filters can also help to reduce indoor allergens.

Research and look out for low pollen or hypoallergenic plants for your home to further reduce exposure.

Managing any dust mites is also helpful.  Suggestions include mite proof covers for mattresses, duvets and pillows which are specialized covers that can be left in place for several months and which act as barriers against dust mites. 

Regular duvet covers, pillowcases and sheets should be washed every week on a hot wash to ensure the elimination of any dust mites.




Bielory L. Complementary and alternative therapies for allergic rhinitis and conjunctivitis. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. -(Accessed June 28, 2021).

Pet dander. American Lung Association. http://www.lung.org/our-initiatives/healthy-air/indoor/indoor-air-pollutants/pet-dander.html. -(Accessed June 28, 2021).

Seidman MD, et al. Clinical practice guideline: Allergic rhinitis. Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery. 2015;152:S1. -(Accessed June 28, 2021).

Cockroach allergy. American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. https://acaai.org/allergies/types/cockroach-allergy.-(Accessed June 28, 2021).

AskMayoExpert. Allergy testing: Indications. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2018.