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Hay fever

Hay fever is an allergy to pollen.

Symptoms of hay fever include sneezing, coughing, a runny nose and itchy, red eyes.

You can usually treat hay fever with things like antihistamine medicines bought from a pharmacy. See a GP if it does not get better.

Read more on the NHS website.

Symptoms of hay fever include sneezing, coughing, a runny nose and itchy, red eyes.

Check if you have hay fever

Symptoms of hay fever include:

If you have asthma, you might also:

Hay fever will last for weeks or months, unlike a cold, which usually goes away after 1 to 2 weeks.

Read more on the NHS website.

You can usually treat hay fever with things like antihistamine medicines bought from a pharmacy. See a GP if it does not get better.

Self-care

There's currently no cure for hay fever and you cannot prevent it.

But you can do things to ease your symptoms when the pollen count is high.


Do

  • put Vaseline around your nostrils to trap pollen
  • wear wraparound sunglasses to stop pollen getting into your eyes
  • shower and change your clothes after you have been outside to wash pollen off
  • stay indoors whenever possible
  • keep windows and doors shut as much as possible
  • vacuum regularly and dust with a damp cloth
  • buy a pollen filter for the air vents in your car and a vacuum cleaner with a special HEPA filter

Don't

  • do not cut grass or walk on grass
  • do not spend too much time outside
  • do not keep fresh flowers in the house
  • do not smoke or be around smoke – it makes your symptoms worse
  • do not dry clothes outside – they can catch pollen
  • do not let pets into the house if possible – they can carry pollen indoors

Medical treatments

Your GP might prescribe steroids.

If steroids and other hay fever treatments do not work, your GP may refer you for immunotherapy.

This means you'll be given small amounts of pollen as an injection or tablet to slowly build up your immunity to pollen.

This kind of treatment usually starts in the winter about 3 months before the hay fever season begins.

Read more on the NHS website.