8 hay fever remedies to try now

From sprays to acupressure brands, here are the best ways to combat hay fever.

woman blowing nose

by Marina Avraam |

Hay fever season is well and truly upon us, bringing with it a non-stop rotation of sneezing, coughing, runny nose and itchy eyes. If you haven't already, then it's time to start building up your armoury to fight off those pesky symptoms and begin feeling comfortable in the outdoors once again. From antihistamines and nasal sprays to eye drops and wipes, we've lined up the most effective hay fever remedies that you can try at home and buy over the counter.

Hay Fever Symptoms

Hay fever is when you have an allergic reaction to pollen and it affects one in five people. The pollen contains proteins that can cause the eyes, nose, throat and sinuses to become swollen and irritated. Hay fever season is at its worst between the end of March and September. Plus, the symptoms can last for weeks to months.

Below are the symptoms you may experience if you have hay fever:

• Runny nose

• Sneezing

• Itchy eyes, throat, nose or ears

• Feeling tired

• Pain around your forehead and temples

Hay fever remedies

While there is no cure for hay fever, there are lots of natural remedies you can try at home and treatments available that you can purchase from your local pharmacist. Parvinder Sagoo, Lead Pharmacist and health advisor for SimplyMedsOnline shares his top hay fever remedies.

1) Vaseline

Vaseline
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This is a cheap and easy way to try and help with hay fever. Dab a small amount of Vaseline or petroleum jelly to the outside of each nostril, this will act as a trap for any lingering pollen particles in the atmosphere.

The particles will stick to the Vaseline as opposed to going up your nose and should help to prevent any sneezing or itchiness during the night.

2) Shut windows and doors

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This will prevent pollen particles from making their way from outside and into your room, as these will attach themselves to furniture and linen, such as bedding, which could leave you to suffer from allergies when you go to sleep.

3) Wash bedding once a week on 60 degrees

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Wash your bedding more often to ensure pollen particles aren’t sitting in the sheets. When drying them you should do this indoors and not outside, as pollen from the trees will most likely land on the sheets and sit in the creases or stick to them.

Most people wash sheets at 40 degrees. However, we recommend setting it to 60 degrees to ensure all germs and pollen particles are removed.

4) Shower regularly

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If you’ve been out all day make sure you take a shower and wash your hair, as pollen particles can easily stick to your skin and hair and these may make their way into your nasal passages, eyes or mouth, promoting allergies.

5) Take an antihistamine

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An antihistamine should keep any allergies at bay. Steroid nasal sprays can also be used to reduce symptoms such as a blocked, stuffy or runny nose, itchiness in the nose and sneezing.

6) Use a throw

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If you don’t fancy washing your sheets constantly, another great tip for preventing allergens from sitting on your bedding or furniture is by throwing over a big sheet during the day, this will act as a barrier and you can take it off each evening and your furniture should be safe from particles.

You should also clean your house regularly, especially hoovering carpets as this will get rid of any lingering pollen particles.

7) Change your diet

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Certain foods can actually worsen hay fever symptoms, such as dairy, starchy and sugary foods. Eating foods such as ginger, garlic and chilli can actually help to treat hay fever symptoms. This is because they are high in vitamin C. Vitamin C has been known to improve lung function due to quercetin, which is an antioxidant. Maybe a supplement could help you out if you aren't keen on changing your diet too much.

Honey is also a natural remedy for hay fever. The bee pollen in honey can actually desensitise your body to other pollen. So, increasing your daily honey intake should actually reduce hay fever symptoms significantly. Either try having a spoonful or two per day out of the jar, or adding it to your morning porridge.

8) Wash your face and nose before bed

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Wash your face thoroughly, including the eyes and nose to remove any sitting pollen particles. This can be done using just a cool damp cloth or adding soap. A nasal or sinus cleanse is a great way to rid of any lingering irritants which have attached themselves high up into the hairs of your nasal passage.

Do this using a saltwater solution once or twice a day, and tip your head at an angle over your bath or sink.

Try to use a funnel-like tool - or even a water bottle with a spout - and essentially pour or shoot the salt water solution straight into your nose.

This surge of water should help to flush out and remove any irritants - whilst also cleaning the area of any mucus or other irritants.

Hay fever remedies: what NOT to do

While some things can help relieve your hay fever, naturally there are some things that can make it worse. The NHS advises avoiding the following:

• Don’t walk on/or cut grass

• Don’t keep fresh flowers in the house

• Don’t smoke or be around smoke as this can actually make your symptoms worse

• Limit your time spent outdoors

• If you have pets, limit where they go in the house, as they will carry pollen indoors.

We love Zooki. Medical Professional Sarah Carolides has recommended the supplement brand Zooki to support hayfever. Three studies from 2019 found that vitamin D supplementation in people with low vitamin D levels improved their hay fever symptoms.

Zooki Vitamin D contains 3,000 iu of D3 along with vitamin K2 to help absorption. If you are in doubt about whether you need vitamin D, it is simple to check your levels with a simple blood test.

On the other hand, Vitamin C Zooki is believed to help reduce the severity of allergic reactions. It naturally decreases the body’s histamine production, which slows down your body's overreaction to environmental triggers like pollen.

Tried & Tested by Commercial Content Writer for Yours, Piper Huxley:

"I've been using Zooki for a few weeks and I've started to notice a small change in my health. Not only am I feeling more active and ready to start the day, but my skin is itching less - which is a relief. My hay fever symptoms usually consist of itchy skin and eyes - as well as a sniffle.

I'm pleased to say that Zooki is helping so far. For the first two weeks, I used my antihistamines alongside the treatment just to make sure that I wasn't suffering too much from the sudden switch in treatment.

The Vitamin D product is my favourite. I'm happy Zooki has sourced the vitamin from Lichen algae - making it vegan. This ought to please many as plant-based vitamin D supplements are often a little harder to find. I love the taste of the mixed berries flavour but found the Vitamin C pouch too tart. Fortunately, you can pop a Zooki in a drink, lather it over your food or take it straight from the pouch. Plus, I love Zooki's initiative for recycling their plastic pouches.

Zooki has bundles and different products for different aspects of your physical health, including a Gut Biome Zooki and one for your Hair. The latter of which I will be trying because I need that extra support for my hair, skin and nails.

I've come off my antihistamines and I'm using Zooki full-time. I feel energetic and that pesky itchiness is really rare.

Changing your lifestyle with supplements is a great way to combat allergies this summer. Zooki is a great option."

Is hay fever contagious?

No, hay fever is your body's immune response to allergens and is therefore not contagious.

Does hay fever make you tired?

Yes, hay fever has been known to cause tiredness. This is due to the lack of sleep caused by congestion at night-time. Also, it can be due to the chemicals being released during an allergic reaction.

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