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Hay Fever Treatments

Hay Fever TreatmentThere are several over-the-counter hay fever treatments you can use to combat your hay fever symptoms. The older antihistamines have a significant sedating effect and should not be used if you are driving, operating machinery or studying. These drugs also interact with alcohol so having even a small amount to drink may significantly affect performance. If hay fever mainly affects your eyes, antihistamine eye drops may help.

FAQ about Hay Fever Treatments:

How is hay fever diagnosed?
How can I best treat hay fever by reducing my exposure to pollen?
What medical treatments are there for hay fever?
Are there natural hay fever treatments besides avoiding allergens?
Can hay fever be cured?
What kind of alternative therapies are there?

 

How is hay fever diagnosed?

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A simple account of your symptoms and their seasonality may be all that is required to diagnose hay fever. If confirmation or identification of the type of pollen involved is needed, then a skin prick test can be used. A tiny drop of a pollen extract is placed on the skin, at either the arm or the back. If the person is allergic to the pollen, a small red weal will appear, usually within 15 minutes. Referral to a specialist is rarely necessary in simple cases, but should be done if you don’t respond to treatment or if there is doubt over the diagnosis.

How can I best treat hay fever by reducing my exposure to pollen?

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Try these tips during the pollen season:

  • Be sure to keep pollen out of the bedroom; for instance, don’t go into the bedroom in outdoor clothes. Change into relaxing or night clothes first.
  • Shower and wash pollen out of your hair when you get home.
  • Use a mask or scarf to cover your nose, or a dab of Vaseline inside each nostril, when you are outdoors.
  • Keep doors and windows closed whenever possible during high pollen count.
  • Delegate lawn-mowing to someone who is not allergic.
  • Keep an eye on pollen forecasts and plan accordingly.
  • Consider investing in a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) purifier to filter pollen grains out of indoor air.

What medical treatments are there for hay fever?

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If your symptoms are mild, use a long-acting non-sedating antihistamine such as these to treat your hay fever:

  • Claritin (loratadine)
  • NeoClaritin (desloratadine)
  • Zyrtec (cetirizine)
  • Xyzal (levocetirizine)
  • Allegra (fexofenadine)


These are available over-the-counter. The older antihistamines like chlorpheniramine (Piriton) and hydroxyzine (Atarax) have a significant sedating effect and should not be used if you are driving, operating machinery or studying. These older drugs also interact with alcohol so having even a small amount to drink may significantly affect performance. If hay fever mainly affects your eyes, antihistamine eye drops, such as Otrivine (antazoline) may help.

A nasal decongestant drop or a spray may also be helpful as hay fever treatment, in addition to your antihistamine, to clear a blocked nose. Some of these are corticosteroids, which act by reducing inflammation. These include:

  • Beconase (beclomethasone)
  • Flixonase (fluticasone)
  • Otrivine/Sudafed (xylometazoline) is a non-corticosteroid nasal decongestant.


Very severe hay fever can be treated with a short course of oral steroids. This option is very useful if you have an occasion coming up where it is crucial you be symptom-free. If antihistamines and nasal steroids do not do the job, try Singulair, which is a prescription medicine used for asthma and allergies.

Are there natural hay fever treatments besides avoiding allergens?

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Here are a few things you might like to try:

  • Nettle extract tablets: One clinical trial conducted many years ago suggested nettles may be able to reduce the intensity of the allergic response in hay fever.
  • Capsaicin, the hot chemical in chillies: can provide long-lasting relief from hay fever symptoms. But beware, capsaicin treatment is powerful and can damage the delicate nasal passages. The spray treatment should only be applied under medical supervision.
  • Butterbur: a herbal remedy which has been used against hay fever symptoms with some success in clinical trials.
  • Acupuncture or hypnotherapy: there is some, limited, evidence that they may help.

Can hay fever be cured?

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Immunotherapy, also known as desensitisation or allergy shots, offers a way to control hay fever symptoms. In this approach, the system is ‘flooded’ with pollen allergen so that the body will eventually learn to ‘ignore’ it. Patients for immunotherapy need to be carefully selected, and treated in a specialist centre. The procedure now involves only four injections and has been shown to give lasting benefit. There is also a home version known as sublingual immunotherapy, in which the patient places medication under the tongue, however this is currently only available for grass pollen allergy. People with hay fever are also eight times more likely to have asthma.

What kind of alternative therapies are there?

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A number of other approaches to managing hay fever have been suggested including:

  • Saline nasal douching
  • Probiotics
  • Ultraviolet light
  • Acupuncture

Related Products:

Hay Fever Relief ProductsAllergen Wash DetergentBlueair 450EMiele C3 HEPA PowerLine

Hay Fever Treatment Information | Expert Advice & FAQs Articles

Exams and Hay Fever Season - A Testimonial

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exams and hay fever My son has a range of allergies – the worst of which is his hay fever. Once he becomes allergic, his symptoms become so bad that he cannot go to school. He is a straight A student, but no matter how smart your child is, if he has severe allergies, he will not be able to do well in his exams during hay fever season.

In spring and summer my son’s allergies often become so strong, that he cannot leave the house, let alone go to school. And the problem is that if you do not keep your main allergies under control all the other minor allergies flare up too, and my son gets severe food allergies if we do not actively control his hay fever.

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customer review blueair 450e My husband and I have been living in London for four years now, and enjoy it very much. However, there are some downsides, such as the high level of air pollution in the city. At first I did not notice it, but after a little while the pollution level became very apparent. You just have to blow your nose after taking the tube or look at the collar of your shirt at the end of the day and you will see what I mean.

I started looking for an air purifier. At first, I casually checked my local Tesco and Argos stores.

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Exams During Hay Fever Season

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exams during hay fever season My cousin is about to sit her public exams and is suffering terribly from hay fever. Her plight reminded me all too well of the problems of sitting exams in the summer when my allergies and hay-fever were at its worst.

I would sit in the dusty Concert Hall with a box of tissues on my desk, my eyes itching and nose running. The windows would be open to allow air, and with it, pollen and traffic pollution into the hall and for the few allergy sufferers this would exacerbate their problems.

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