Hay fever is usually worse between late March and September, especially when it's warm, humid and windy. This is when the pollen count is at its highest.

Check if you have hay fever

Symptoms of hay fever include:

  • sneezing and coughing
  • a runny or blocked nose
  • itchy, red or watery eyes
  • itchy throat, mouth, nose and ears
  • loss of smell
  • pain around your temples and forehead
  • headache
  • earache
  • feeling tired

Hay fever symptoms are similar to a common cold, however, the symptoms will typically last for weeks or months unlike a cold which will disappear within a week or two.

You can develop hay fever symptoms at any age, although it is more common in children and during teenage years. 
You could also be more likely to suffer from hay fever if you have a family history of allergies such as eczema and asthma.

All high strength treatments for hay fever are now available to purchase at your local pharmacy. GPs will no longer be able to give routine prescriptions for hay fever treatments. This is BNSSG CCG Guidelines.
Patients are advised to speak to the pharmacy team for support and clinical advice about the treatment options available, including:

  • Antihistamine tablets and syrups: good at preventing symptoms of hay fever when taken at the start of the day
  • Antihistamine nasal sprays: can be used instead of, or in addition to, tablets to prevent nasal symptoms
  • Steroid nasal sprays: can be used in addition to preventer medication to treat symptoms. Note, they can take¬†approximately three days to begin to work
  • Nasal inhalants: helpful to ease nasal congestion
  • Eye drops: helpful to ease itching or dry eyes
  • Pain relief medication: can be used to aid symptoms of sinus or head pain
  • Cold/flu medications- decongestant / throat lozenges: can be taken to help ease congestion and sore, tickly throats