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Hay fever treatments

Woman with hay fever
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Hay fever is an allergy to pollen – the fine powder released from plants in the spring and summer. It causes lots of irritating symptoms, include watery eyes, a stuffy nose and persistent sneezing or coughing.

At LloydsPharmacy, there are a number of over the counter medicines available to help bring relief such as oral antihistamines, eyedrops and the LloydsPharmacy allergy reliever.

What causes hay fever and allergies?

Hay fever, also known as nasal allergies or allergic rhinitis, is a condition caused by an allergic reaction to pollen. It is common to experience symptoms throughout the spring and summer months when pollen count is high and easily spread by warm and windy weather. 

Hay fever symptoms

Pollen is harmless, but symptoms of hay fever occur when the body mistakes pollen for an invader and fights to protect itself by producing a chemical known as histamine. Histamine increases inflammation by expanding blood vessels, and this can stimulate the nerves in the nose that trigger sneezing. Household dust and pet hair can also trigger this same reaction.

Alongside inflammation, the body increases mucus production, and these responses can leave a person with the following symptoms:

  • Itchy, red or watery eyes
  • A runny or blocked nose
  • Sneezing and coughing
  • General tiredness
  • Itchiness in the throat, nose, mouth and ears
  • Loss of smell
  • An ache around your temples and forehead
  • Headache
  • Earache

Those who live with asthma may also experience an increased difficulty breathing during the spring and summer months.

Allergies can affect day to day life and can be a pain to deal with. Fortunately, there are many treatments available to help ease the discomfort. We explore these treatment options below.

Which pollen allergy do I have? 

There are three main types of pollen, tree grass and weed. These are active at different times of year:

  • Tree pollen is usually around late March to mid-May
  • Grass pollen is prevalent mid-May to July
  • Weed pollen is from the end of June to September.

Knowing which type of pollen you’re allergic to can help you be prepared and stocked up with allergy treatment.

How to cure hay fever?

There isn’t a cure for hay fever, however, there are a number of treatment options available that can help to ease symptoms. It is recommended that you try each one to see which is the best fit for you.

What's the best way to treat hay fever?


One of the most common treatment options for hay fever are antihistamines. Antihistamines work by blocking the effect (such as runny nose, sneezing) of histamine on the body. Different antihistamines include diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and loratadine (Clarityn), and can be in the form of tablets, syrups or eyedrops.

1 a day tablets for everyday relief 

If you regularly get allergies, why not try taking allergy tablets daily to help prevent allergy symptoms occurring. Why not try LloydsPharmacy allergy tablets for relief of – seasonal and perennial allergic rhinitis and chronic nettle rash.

Nasal sprays

Another effective treatment for hay fever are corticosteroid (steroid) nasal sprays such as beclometasone dipropionate (Beconase) and budesonide (Benacort), which work by suppressing the immune system’s response before the histamine is released. Steroid medication can also be in the form of drops, inhalers or tablets.


Eyedrops containing sodium cromoglicate are also effective in reducing the inflammation in your eyes. This will help treat any redness, itchiness or watering frequently associated with hay fever and household allergies. Why not try LloydsPharmacy Allergy & Hayfever Eye Drops 10ml – for the relief and treatment of the eye symptoms of hay fever.

Hay fever wipes

Hay fever wipes are also a fast way to remove pollen from your hands and face when out of the house.

It is always best to consult your GP before trying any new medication.

What helps relieve allergies fast?

There are some simple home remedies that you can try that may help reduce your symptoms:

  • Vacuum and dust regularly to make sure there is no lingering pollen or dust caught in the carpet or floor
  • Wear sunglasses that wrap around your face as much as possible to protect your eyes from pollen
  • Rub Vaseline around your nostrils to trap the pollen before it reaches the thin skin inside your nose
  • Purchase a pollen filter for your home
  • Stay indoors whenever possible
  • Shower and change your clothes after you have been outside to wash any excess pollen off
  • Pollen filters in your car’s air vents and have them changed every time your car is serviced

By adding these tricks into your daily routine alongside a hay fever treatment that works for you and the LloydsPharmacy allergy reliever, you may experience relief from your symptoms.

What is the LloydsPharmacy allergy reliever?

The allergy reliever from LloydsPharmacy is a lightweight, portable device that uses red light therapy to relieve the symptoms of hay fever and allergies associated with dust or pet hair. It can be used at home or on the go and acts as a fast solution to irritating symptoms such as coughing and sneezing.

How does the allergy reliever work?

LloydsPharmacy allergy reliever uses red light therapy in the form of nasal probes that are inserted into your nose and emit two separate wave lengths of red light. One wavelength increases blood flow, whilst the other suppresses the cells that release histamine which can help keep inflammation under control. This gentle, three-minute treatment can help relieve the symptoms of allergic rhinitis, and for best results should be used twice a day.

How do I use the LloydsPharmacy allergy reliever?

The allergy reliever from LloydsPharmacy is a fast solution to the symptoms associated with hay fever or allergies.

Please follow the instructions below to find out to use the allergy reliever correctly:

  1. Be sure to clean the nose probes and protective cover before use. We recommend a damp, lint-free cloth.
  2. Fit the protective covers onto the device (including the nose probes) so that it is protected from any potential damage.
  3. To switch on the device, press and hold the on/off button for one second. You will know it is working when a red light comes on, indicating that the two wavelengths have been activated.
  4. After the red light appears, insert the two nasal probes gently into your nose as far is it can go without causing discomfort. You can press the adjustable buttons for comfort.
  5. Release the buttons to secure the probes into your nose and start treatment.
  6. The treatment lasts a total of three minutes. The allergy reliever device will signal to you with two consecutive beeps when the treatment is coming to an end and the device will switch off automatically.
  7. Press the adjustable buttons again to gently remove the nose probes.
  8. Be sure to clean the protective cover and nose probes after every use.

If you would like to stop treatment early, you can switch the device off at any time by holding the on/off button for one second. The device should not cause any discomfort or pain, so if any is experienced, stop use immediately. If any pain is experienced after use, please seek medical advice.

Can I use red light therapy alongside other hay fever medication?

It is safe to use the allergy reliever alongside other hay fever medications, such as oral antihistamine or eye drops, or if you're pregnant. The device is lightweight and can be easily carried around with other medications.

Hay fever and asthma

For some people with asthma, hay fever can be an asthma trigger.  If you have hay fever and it triggers your asthma, you might notice:

  • A shortness of breath
  • A tight chest
  • Wheezing

There are a few things you can do to help manage your hay fever and asthma:

  1. Carrying your reliever inhaler every day. This is usually a blue inhaler, it works to quickly relax muscles in your airways to ease your symptoms on the spot
  2. Take your preventer inhaler as prescribed. This inhaler helps to reduce the sensitivity and swelling in your airways to help prevent wheezing and coughing before they start
  3. Treat your hay fever with over the counter treatments.