What helps a runny nose from allergies
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
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
Allergic rhinitis is inflammation of the inside of the nose caused by an allergen, such as pollen, dust, mould or flakes of skin from certain animals.
It’s a extremely common condition, estimated to affect around 1 in every 5 people in the UK.
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.
- vacuum regularly and dust with a damp cloth
- shower and change your clothes after you own been exterior to wash pollen off
- put Vaseline around your nostrils to trap pollen
- stay indoors whenever possible
- wear wraparound sunglasses to stop pollen getting into your eyes
- hold windows and doors shut as much as possible
- purchase a pollen filter for the air vents in your car and a vacuum cleaner with a special HEPA filter
- do not dry clothes exterior – they can catch pollen
- do not spend too much time exterior
- do not cut grass or stroll on grass
- do not smoke or be around smoke – it makes your symptoms worse
- 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.
When to see a GP
Visit a GP if the symptoms of allergic rhinitis are disrupting your sleep, preventing you carrying out everyday activities, or adversely affecting your performance at work or school.
A diagnosis of allergic rhinitis will generally be based on your symptoms and any possible triggers you may own noticed.
If the cause of your condition is uncertain, you may be referred for allergy testing.
Find out more about diagnosing allergic rhinitis
Treatments for hay fever from a GP
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.
Symptoms of allergic rhinitis
Allergic rhinitis typically causes cold-like symptoms, such as sneezing, itchiness and a blocked or runny nose.
These symptoms usually start soon after being exposed to an allergen.
Some people only get allergic rhinitis for a few months at a time because they’re sensitive to seasonal allergens, such as tree or grass pollen. Other people get allergic rhinitis every year round.
Most people with allergic rhinitis own mild symptoms that can be easily and effectively treated.
But for some people symptoms can be severe and persistent, causing sleep problems and interfering with everyday life.
The symptoms of allergic rhinitis occasionally improve with time, but this can take numerous years and it’s unlikely that the condition will vanish completely.
Check if you own hay fever
Symptoms of hay fever include:
- itchy, red or watery eyes
- sneezing and coughing
- pain around your temples and forehead
- a runny or blocked nose
- loss of smell
- itchy throat, mouth, nose and ears
- feeling tired
If you own asthma, you might also:
- be short of breath
- have a tight feeling in your chest
- wheeze and cough
Hay fever will final for weeks or months, unlike a freezing, which generally goes away after 1 to 2 weeks.