Understanding hayfever

Woman standing with hand on hip, outdoors in a wooded area.

Hayfever can seem unpredictable and sometimes the severity of your symptoms may vary during the season.

By understanding more about hayfever and how it impacts your body, you’ll be able to manage it effectively so you can enjoy sunny days – even when the pollen count is high.

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

There are around 30 different types of pollen, but more common ones are:

• Tree pollen

• Grass pollen

• Weed pollen

Symptoms of hayfever

Hayfever symptoms are often very similar to a cold, but there are some important differences. Hayfever symptoms can last for weeks or months, while a cold will usually clear up within two weeks.

Hayfever symptoms can get in the way of the things we enjoy. If you are unsure whether or not you have hayfever, speak to your pharmacist or GP for advice.

How to manage your hayfever

There are some things you can do to help manage your hayfever:

• Apply petroleum jelly around your nostrils to trap pollen

• Use wrap around glasses to prevent pollen from getting into your eyes

• Change your clothes and shower after you’ve been outside to wash the pollen off

• Close the doors and windows to stop pollen getting inside

• Avoid cutting the grass

• Don’t keep fresh flowers inside the house

• Do not dry clothes outside

• 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 HEPA filter

What treatments are available?

There are various medicines available for treating hayfever symptoms. These are available in different formats such as tablets, liquid medicines, eye drops and nasal sprays.

Antihistamines are a group of medicines used to treat symptoms of hayfever and other allergies. Antihistamines are available over the counter in capsules, tablets, syrups and liquid.

Speak to a pharmacist for advice on products or a regime that may be suitable for you. If your symptoms are not helped with over the counter treatments, seek advice from your GP.


*Allevia is suitable for adults & children over 12 years of age. Allevia 120mg tablets contain fexofenadine. For the symptomatic relief of hayfever.

Always read the label.