What helps itchy eyes from allergies
Your GP might prescribe steroids.
If steroids and other hay fever treatments do not work, your GP may refer you for immunotherapy.
This means you’ll be given little amounts of pollen as an injection or tablet to slowly build up your immunity to pollen.
This helpful of treatment generally starts in the winter about 3 months before the hay fever season begins.
Check if you own hay fever
Symptoms of hay fever include:
- a runny or blocked nose
- sneezing and coughing
- pain around your temples and forehead
- loss of smell
- itchy, red or watery eyes
- itchy throat, mouth, nose and ears
- feeling tired
If you own asthma, you might also:
- have a tight feeling in your chest
- be short of breath
- wheeze and cough
Hay fever will final for weeks or months, unlike a freezing, which generally goes away after 1 to 2 weeks.
What causes hay fever
Hay fever is an allergic reaction to pollen, typically when it comes into contact with your mouth, nose, eyes and throat.
Pollen is a fine powder from plants.
Check the pollen forecast
Media final reviewed: 21 April 2017
Media review due: 21 April 2020
Sheet final reviewed: 21 December 2017
Next review due: 21 December 2020
An allergy is a reaction the body has to a specific food or substance.
Allergies are extremely common.
They’re thought to affect more than 1 in 4 people in the UK at some point in their lives.
They’re particularly common in children.
Some allergies go away as a kid gets older, although many are lifelong.
Adults can develop allergies to things they were not previously allergic to.
Having an allergy can be a nuisance and affect your everyday activities, but most allergic reactions are mild and can be largely kept under control.
Severe reactions can occasionally happen, but these are uncommon.
Substances that cause allergic reactions are called allergens.
The more common allergens include:
- dust mites
- latex – used to make some gloves and condoms
- mould – these can release little particles into the air that you can breathe in
- grass and tree pollen – an allergy to these is known as hay fever (allergic rhinitis)
- medicines – including ibuprofen, aspirin and certain antibiotics
- insect bites and stings
- animal dander, tiny flakes of skin or hair
- food – particularly nuts, fruit, shellfish, eggs and cows’ milk
- household chemicals – including those in detergents and hair dyes
Most of these allergens are generally harmless to people who are not allergic to them.
How to treat hay fever yourself
There’s currently no cure for hay fever and you cannot prevent it.
But you can do things to ease your symptoms when the pollen count is high.
- put Vaseline around your nostrils to trap pollen
- vacuum regularly and dust with a damp cloth
- hold windows and doors shut as much as possible
- wear wraparound sunglasses to stop pollen getting into your eyes
- stay indoors whenever possible
- shower and change your clothes after you own been exterior to wash pollen off
- purchase a pollen filter for the air vents in your car and a vacuum cleaner with a special HEPA filter
- do not cut grass or stroll on grass
- do not dry clothes exterior – they can catch pollen
- do not smoke or be around smoke – it makes your symptoms worse
- do not spend too much time exterior
- do not hold unused flowers in the home
- do not let pets into the home if possible – they can carry pollen indoors
Allergy UK has more tips on managing hay fever.
A pharmacist can assist with hay fever
Speak to your pharmacist if you own hay fever.
They can give advice and propose the best treatments, love antihistamine drops, tablets or nasal sprays to assist with:
- itchy and watery eyes and sneezing
- a blocked nose
Find a pharmacy
Non-urgent advice: See a GP if:
- your symptoms are getting worse
- your symptoms do not improve after taking medicines from the pharmacy