Struggling with itchy eyes, a tickly cough & lots of sneezing? Help relieve hay fever symptoms with these tips and find a daily routine that works for you

Hay fever symptoms are thought to affect up to 49 percent of the UK population*, and although symptoms are not usually serious, the coughs, sore throats and runny noses caused by hay fever and allergies can disrupt your sleep and concentration.

Unfortunately, there is no way to cure hay fever or immediately stop symptoms, but treatment for hay fever symptoms usually follows two principles – defence and relief. Carving out a daily routine using a combination of hay fever treatment and small lifestyle changes can help you to manage your symptoms without trouble. 

Try implementing a few of these tips throughout your day:


Check the pollen count

Make it a part of your daily routine to check the pollen count for the day ahead. The MET Office compiles a forecast five days ahead of time, so if a high pollen count normally equals a day of streaming eyes and a runny nose for you, you can adjust your upcoming plans to stay inside.


Antihistamines help to manage mild symptoms of hay fever by blocking your body's allergic response to the pollen. They are most commonly found in tablet and liquid form and can either be taken when needed to help you manage your symptoms, or regularly if you struggle throughout the hayfever season. If you are unsure about which antihistamine is appropriate for you, then ask a member of the pharmacy team for advice.

Apply a barrier balm to your nose

Defend the main gateway into the body by preventing pollen from entering your nasal passage. Applying a thin layer of petroleum jelly around the opening of your nostrils to help trap the pollen and prevent it from travelling further.

Pack wraparound sunglasses

As well as sheilding your eyes from the sun, wearing the right sunglasses is also an effective step in your daily hay fever routine. Wraparound styles are recommended for hay fever sufferers as they help prevent pollen from reaching your eyes.

Day time

Keep the windows shut

If pollen can’t reach you in the first place, you have a stronger chance of being able to minimise your symptoms for the day. If it’s sunny and warm, make sure you have a fan on hand or use air conditioning to cool down your room instead.

Nasal sprays

Pollen can cause inflammation of the nasal lining, so nasal sprays can be used alongside antihistamines if you’re struggling with sneezing, or a runny or blocked nose. Some steroid nasal sprays can be bought over the counter and should be taken regularly, whereas decongestant nasal sprays shouldn’t be used for longer than seven days. If you're unsure about which nasal spray is appropriate for you, ask a member of the pharmacy team.

Stop smoking

Hay fever can irritate the lining of your airways, causing a dry, itchy cough, which smoking will only exacerbate.

Limit your exposure

While it might go without saying, mowing the lawn or tending to your vegetable patch isn’t a smart idea when you’re managing symptoms of hay fever. This also goes for raking leaves or keeping flowers inside your house.

Keep eye drops on hand

Most nasal sprays will help you manage itchy or streaming eyes, but if you’re still struggling to control your symptoms, allergy relief eye drops are available to help soothe any dryness, soreness and watering.  If you're unsure about which eye drops are appropriate for you, ask a member of the pharmacy team to advise.

Switch on an air purifier

Consider investing in an air purifier to use throughout the day. These small, portable devices help reduce unwanted air particles and pollutants from your space.

Dry your clothes inside

Don’t undo any hard work of removing pollen from clothes by drying them outside on a washing line. Even the slightest breeze could result in a laundry load covered in pesky pollen.


Vacuum and dust with a damp cloth

Ensuring your cloth is damp is the key to this one, as pollen can be tricky to remove from surfaces unless it becomes wet. Staying on top of the dusting will ensure pollen doesn’t linger in your home overnight and aggravate your symptoms.

Change your clothes

The same goes for your clothes! Changing your outfit as soon as you come inside may prevent a flare up. It’s also a good idea to shower and wash your hair regularly too, to make sure pollen isn’t clinging to your skin or hair.

Groom your pets

In the same way we can carry it in our hair, pollen can cling to the coats of household pets and enter your home. Try to give your pets a quick rub-down with a damp cloth when they return home for the day (even if they try to protest!).

Using a combination of these tips should help you manage your symptoms of hay fever, but alternatively you may want to consider visiting Boots Online Doctor Hay Fever Treatment Service**. After completing a quick online consultation, you’ll receive a clinical assessment in 24 hours and, if applicable to your symptoms, access to prescription-only  hay fever medicine to help ease your symptoms.


Allergy & hay fever advice

Read on for information on these conditions & your treatment options

How do I treat hay fever?

Itchy eyes, sneezing & a runny nose? Find out which medicines can help relieve your hay fever symptoms

**Access to prescription-only medicine is subject to a consultation with a clinician to assess suitability. Charges apply.