Hay Fever

Hay fever is caused by an allergy to pollen. The symptoms of hay fever are caused when a person has an allergic reaction to pollen. Common hay fever symptoms are:

  • a runny, itchy and/or blocked nose
  • sneezing
  • itchy eyes

Pollen is a fine powder released by plants as part of their reproductive cycle. Pollen contains proteins that can cause the nose, eyes, throat and sinuses to become swollen, irritated and inflamed.

How to treat hay fever

Many hay fever symptoms can be controlled with over-the-counter medication at your local pharmacy.

  • Steroid nasal sprays help to prevent or reduce inflammation in the lining of the nose and some can help to relieve watery eyes.
    Available from your local pharmacy.
  • Antihistamines help to relieve a runny nose, sneezing, itching and watery eyes. Some types of antihistamines make you drowsy and are best taken before bed. Newer antihistamines are less likely to make you drowsy and are a common choice for children and people with milder or occasional symptoms of hay fever.
    Available from your local pharmacy.
  • Decongestant nasal sprays and tablets are used to unblock the nose. They should never be taken for more than a few days at a time.
    Available from your local pharmacy.
  • Eye drops can be used to treat itchy or watery eyes.
    Available from your local pharmacy.

If you have tried above treatments and they have proven ineffective for you, please contact the surgery for more advice.

Useful Links

We are currently inundated with requests for hay fever prescriptions.

Hay fever is a difficult condition often needing multiple medications to control.

Start with a long acting anti histamine and add in beconase nasal spray and sodium cromoglycate eye drops. These all should be purchased over the counter from the pharmacy.

Don’t forget non pharmacological help too such as sunglasses, Vaseline by nose, keeping windows and Cetus is shit in bedroom, showering when you come inside to help and reduce pollen.

Please do not contact the surgery unless you have tried all of these combinations. If you do need help please submit an e consult explaining what treatment combinations you have tried so far.

guidance from the CCC in line with NHS England is that medication for hay fever should be bought.