Hay Fever & Allergies

Allergic rhinitis, commonly known as hay fever, is a prevalent allergic condition that impacts approximately 20% of individuals at some stage of their lives. The symptoms of hay fever manifest due to an allergic response to pollen, a fine powder discharged by plants during their reproductive process.

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Hay Fever Treatment (Tablets & Sprays)

Browse our selection of hay fever and allergy treatment online. In order to checkout, you will need to complete a short questionnaire that determines your suitability for the item you have selected. Our process is completely confidential and all packages are delivered in plain packaging. 


What is hay fever?

Hay fever is an allergic reaction to pollen. Pollen is a fine powder which is produced by flowers, plants, weeds, and trees. When a hay fever sufferer encounters pollen, the body produces histamine as a natural immune response. This causes hay fever symptoms.

Around 1 in 5 people suffer from hay fever at some point in their life. You are more likely to have hay fever if you are asthmatic, have eczema, or you have a family history of allergies.

When is hay fever season?

Hay fever season starts as early as March and can last until the middle of September. Pollen from trees, grass, weeds, and plants are prevalent at different times of the year.

Tree pollen season: March – May

Grass pollen season: May – July

Weed pollen season: June – September

It is helpful to know what type of pollen you are allergic to, so that you can start treatment a few weeks before your allergies kick in.


What causes hay fever?

Hay fever is caused by an allergic reaction to pollen. It is an immune response, which causes the body to release histamine. This results in symptoms such as sneezing, itchy eyes and a runny nose.

Can you develop hay fever?

Most people with hay fever will have suffered from childhood. However, it is possible to develop hay fever later in life. You are at a higher risk of developing later if you have a personal history, or family history of allergies, asthma, or eczema.

Why have I suddenly developed hay fever?

The science is not clear as to why some people suddenly get hay fever later in life.

Some of the possible reasons could be:

  • You may have a genetic predisposition to allergies that has recently been triggered
  • You may have moved to a different environment, exposing you to different types of pollen that you are allergic to
  • You may have experienced recent illness, infection, or experienced emotional trauma that has affected your immune response to pollen
  • You may have always suffered with mild symptoms that have gone unnoticed during childhood, but are manifesting in adult life


Hay fever symptoms include:

  • Sneezing
  • Itchy, runny, or blocked nose
  • Itchy and runny eyes
  • Itchy or sore throat
  • Cough (with out without phlegm)
  • Feeling tired
  • Wheezing
  • Itchy skin
  • Headache
  • Earache


Hay fever can also exacerbate symptoms of asthma.

These symptoms affect both adults and children.

How long does hay fever last?

Hay fever can last for a few weeks or months. This will depend on

  • The type of pollen you are allergic to
  • The levels of pollen in the air
  • You level of exposure (i.e. hay fever is more likely to cause symptoms if you are outside)


Why is my hay fever worse at night?

During the day, hot air rises, carrying pollen with it. At night, as the air cools, pollen can start to fall, causing symptoms. Some people will find that this affects them.

Severe hay fever symptoms

Hay fever symptoms are not usually severe. Whilst hay fever can affect your quality of life, symptoms can usually be managed with medication, such as hay fever tablets (antihistamines) or nasal sprays (corticosteroids).

If you suffer from asthma, and you find that your asthma symptoms are worse during the hay fever season, you should speak to your GP about the use of a preventor inhaler, to help manage symptoms. You should seek urgent medical assistance if your asthma is making it difficult to breathe.


How is hay fever diagnosed?

There is no official diagnosis for hay fever. It is usually detected by assessing symptoms and potential triggers. If you are experiencing symptoms of hay fever during the pollen season, there is a high chance that you have hay fever. If you are unsure, and your doctor is not able to comfortably diagnose hay fever, you may be referred for an allergy test. This will include testing for a pollen allergy.


Hay fever treatment

Hay fever treatments include tablets (antihistamines), nasal sprays and eye drops. They are effective in helping to manage symptoms. Hay fever treatments works to reverse the effects of pollen, however, they will not cure hay fever.

Hay fever tablets (antihistamines):

Hay fever tablets, also known as antihistamines, work by blocking the release of histamine, the chemical released in response to pollen. Histamine is responsible for causing hay fever symptoms. Hay fever tablets that we stock are:

  • Fexofenadine – These are one of the newest treatments on the market and are widely regarded as the best hay fever tablets. They are non-drowsy. You can buy fexofenadine over the counter.
  • Cetirizine – These are one of the first hay fever tablets on the market and are effective for many.
  • Levocetirizine – These tablets are less sedating and more potent than cetirizine. It is also available under the brand name, Xyzal.
  • Loratadine – These tablets were brought to market slightly after cetirizine.
  • Desloratadine – These tablets are structurally similar to loratadine, and another option that can be tried if you have limited success with other antihistamines.


Hay fever nasal sprays

Hay fever nasal sprays, also known as corticosteroid nasal sprays, work by reducing the swelling in your nose, to help combat nasal congestion (blocked nose), sneezing and a runny nose.

Hay fever sprays that we stock are:


There is no hay fever spray that is regarded as better than the rest.

Hay fever eye drops

Hay fever eye drops work by preventing the release of histamine, which is released in response to pollen. This helps to reduce symptoms such as itchy and watery, or swollen eyes.

Hay fever injection

The hay fever jab works by supressing the body’s immune system. This means that your body is less likely to produce a response to pollen. Whilst very effective, the hay fever injection can increase the risk of contracting infection. It can also cause your bones to become weaker. This is why it is not offered on the NHS.


How to stop hay fever immediately

Hay fever treatments can help to ease symptoms relatively quickly. Most antihistamines and nasal sprays start to work within 1-2 hours. However, it can take 1-2 weeks of consistent use to feel the full effects of treatment.

The quickest way to reduce symptoms is to go indoors and shut windows to reduce exposure to pollen.

Can you cure hay fever permanently?

Unfortunately, there is no cure for hay fever at present. Medication is used to reduce the severity of symptoms, not cure the allergy. Using treatment a few weeks before the hay fever season can help to reduce the severity of symptoms.


How to prevent hay fever

To help prevent hay fever, you should:

  • Take hay fever medication (preferably before the hay fever season starts)
  • Stay indoors when the pollen count is high
  • Shower and change your clothes when you come indoors
  • Change your bedding frequently
  • Use an air purifier
  • Wear sunglasses outside
  • Rub Vaseline around your nose to trap pollen


You should not:

  • Cut or walk on grass, or do the gardening
  • Spend extended period of time outside
  • Keep flowers in the house
  • Smoke or be around smoke (it enhances symptoms)
  • Dry clothes outside
  • Let pets in the house (as they can bring pollen into the house)

There are certain natural products and ailments, that are marketed as hay fever remedies. These include natural bees honey, essential oils, and natural supplements. However, research is limited, and they do not provide as good of a response.

No, the hay fever injection is not available on the NHS as it suppresses your immune system and is deemed to be high risk.

Yes, some people suffer from hay fever symptoms in the winter. Symptoms are not caused by pollen and are usually caused by dust mites.  

There is no treatment that can be pinpointed as the best, or strongest hay fever treatment. Fexofenadine appears to be the most popular treatment, however, what works for some, may not work for others.

Yes, you can get hay fever symptoms at night. During the day, warm air rises, carrying pollen. Air cools down in the evenings, causing pollen to fall and cause symptoms at night.

Acrivastine, also known as Benadryl, is the fastest acting hay fever tablet. It works in as little as 15 minutes.

You should only take one tablet within 24 hours. Exceptions to this are the shorter acting drowsy tablets, which need to be taken 3-4 times a day.

You should avoid taking antihistamines during pregnancy, unless your doctor has advised otherwise.

Most antihistamines are safe to use whilst breastfeeding. You should check this with your doctor or pharmacist.

Non-drowsy antihistamines do not make you feel drowsy, tired, or fatigued. Hay fever can cause tiredness, so if you are taking an antihistamine and feel tired, it may be the effects of hay fever.

There are some tablets which are marketed as natural hay fever tablets, however, they lack scientific evidence.

Antihistamines usually start to work within one hour, however, it can take a few weeks of consistent use to feel the full effects.

Yes, you can safely use antihistamine tablets and nasal sprays together.

Yes, you can drink alcohol in moderation. Excess alcohol can make you feel very drowsy.

Yes, antihistamines are safe to use long term, and there are no known long-term side effects.

No, you should not give any human treatments to your dog, unless prescribed by a veterinary surgeon.

Yes, you should only take the prescribed dose. Taking more tablets than prescribed can be harmful to your health.

Yes, however, always check this with your pharmacist.

Sore throat is not a common symptom of hay fever. If you are experiencing sore throat, accompanied by other hay fever symptoms, you may have a cold or flu. This is likely to be the case if you have a fever.


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