George Sandhu, deputy superintendent pharmacist at Well Pharmacy, says hay fever symptoms, including blocked noses, watery eyes, and itchy throats, are triggered by three types of pollen, which affects people at various times throughout the year.

Some people are allergic to a single type of pollen, while others are “unfortunate enough” to suffer from symptoms caused by all three: tree, grass, and weed.

What are the best treatments?

Hay fever can be treated with tablets, nasal sprays, or eye drops. For complete relief, experts say to use eye and nasal sprays alongside tablets.

Sandhu says: “Hay fever symptoms cause absolute misery for millions of people, but the good news is that there are plenty of things that you can do to reduce their impact on your life.”

Anti-allergy medicine, known as antihistamines, is often seen by experts as the most popular form of treatment for hay fever.

Carolina Goncalves, superintendent pharmacist at Pharmica, says: “Fexofenadine can help treat a runny nose, sneezing, itchy and watery eyes, or an itchy nose or throat. It is a non-drowsy antihistamine that works by blocking histamine (a substance in the body that causes allergic symptoms).

“Other antihistamines worth considering that have a similar effect include Cetirizine and Loratadine.”

Nasal sprays are another form of treatment that will help alleviate runny noses and sneezing.

“Corticosteroid nasal sprays can help reduce nasal inflammation and clear up the nasal passages, preventing sneezing and a runny nose,” Goncalves says.

“Individuals looking for a non-corticosteroid option to treat blocked noses may also wish to consider saline nasal sprays to help increase the moisture content within the nasal cavity, thinning out the mucus and making it easier to expel.”

Goncalves recommends considering eye drops containing sodium cromoglicate as an effective treatment. This ingredient is known to prevent mast cells in the eyes from releasing histamine and other substances that trigger allergies.

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How can you best prevent hay fever?

Experts recommend HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters, which can greatly reduce the presence of pollen and other allergens in indoor air.

Goncalves says: “These filters are capable of trapping microscopic particles, including pollen grains, and preventing them from circulating and settling within the home environment.

“According to numerous studies, HEPA filters can remove 99.9% of aerosolised respiratory particles that are between 300 nanometres and 100 micrometres in size. This includes pollen, which can be up to 200 micrometres in size.

“Integrating HEPA filters into air purification systems and vacuum cleaners can effectively remove these allergens from the indoor air, providing relief for individuals prone to hay fever symptoms.”

It is recommended to keep windows and doors closed during pollen season to prevent pollen from entering your home, which reduces exposure and symptoms.