A GP has revealed 16 unique ways you can combat hay fever symptoms ahead of a potential early pollen bomb.

Pollen count in the UK is reportedly rising early this year as a result hay fever sufferers have been urged to take some preventative action. 

With this in mind, one Doctor has created a comprehensive guide explaining the condition and what causes it.

 GP Dr Alexis Missick, of online pharmaceutical company UK Meds, has also shared her expert advice including 16 unique ways you can try to help relieve the effects.

Messenger Newspapers: The official name for hay fever is allergic rhinitis.(PA)The official name for hay fever is allergic rhinitis.(PA) (Image: PA)

What is hay fever? 

The Doctor has explained that the official name for hay fever is allergic rhinitis.

It causes symptoms similar to those of a cold; a runny nose, itchy eyes, sneezing and congestion.

Dr Alexis pointed out that while the common cold is caused by a virus that tends to stay in the body for 3-7 days, hay fever is caused by an allergy and lasts as long as you’re exposed to the thing causing it.

Both ailments typically have similar symptoms but you’ll generally feel more unwell with a cold.

The GP added: "A cold can often cause body aches and a slight fever, while most people suffering from hay fever won’t get those symptoms.

"Hay fever can make you feel pretty lousy 

"The runny nose is also usually a bit different. With a cold, you may notice a thick, snotty discharge that can be yellow or green in colour, while the runny nose that comes with hay fever tends to be very watery and seems never to stop."

Messenger Newspapers: Vaseline, sunglasses and showering are some ways you can combat hay fever. (PA)Vaseline, sunglasses and showering are some ways you can combat hay fever. (PA) (Image: PA)

What causes hay fever? 

"The simplest answer would be to say that pollen causes hay fever, but the actual cause of hay fever is internal," according to the Doctor.

The expert went on to say: "Hay fever is when your body’s immune system mistakenly identifies a harmless substance (pollen) as a threat, and it produces an antibody called immunoglobulin to fight it off.

"The production of this chemical also releases the chemical histamine, which causes the symptoms of hay fever".

You can be allergic to different kinds of pollen - the most common being grass.

The Doctor explained that that's why the vast majority of hay fever sufferers notice their symptoms are at their worst in the late Spring and Summer.

The GP added:"However, people can suffer from hay fever due to a variety of pollens; tree pollen is at its peak in the Spring, weed pollen is more common in Autumn and spores from fungi peak in warm weather.

"Identifying which kind you are allergic to will, in turn, help you to manage your symptoms."

Messenger Newspapers: The kind of pollen that people are allergic to can vary, with grass pollen being the most common allergen. (PA)The kind of pollen that people are allergic to can vary, with grass pollen being the most common allergen. (PA) (Image: PA)

How to treat and prevent hay fever

Being near the beach 

Being near the beach can potentially provide relief from hay fever symptoms for some individuals, but it may not completely stop the symptoms.

Coastal environments can have certain factors that might alleviate hay fever symptoms such as reduced pollen count, high humidity and sea breezes.

Eating spicy food

While consuming spicy food may cause temporary nasal congestion or a runny nose due to the release of histamines, it does not address the underlying cause of hay fever or provide long-term relief, meaning it cannot directly stop hay fever symptoms. 

Avoiding alcohol 

Avoiding alcohol, particularly certain types of alcoholic beverages, may help alleviate or reduce hay fever symptoms for some individuals.

Consuming alcohol can potentially exacerbate hay fever symptoms by adding to the overall histamine load in the body.


Using Vaseline (petroleum jelly) around your nostrils to trap pollen can ease symptoms.


Wearing wraparound sunglasses may provide some relief for hay fever symptoms related to the eyes.

They can help by creating a barrier that reduces the exposure of your eyes to pollen and other allergens present in the environment.

Messenger Newspapers: Keeping your pets clean as well as your windows and doors closed. ( Getty Images)Keeping your pets clean as well as your windows and doors closed. ( Getty Images) (Image: Getty Images)


Showering after being outdoors can be a helpful step in managing hay fever symptoms.

Showering can help remove allergens and provide a refreshing effect after being outdoors, however, it is not a surefire solution to hay fever.

Changing your clothes 

Changing your clothes can help reduce the amount of allergens, such as pollen, that may be present on your clothing and contribute to hay fever symptoms.

Drying your washed clothes inside can also help reduce hay fever symptoms to some extent by minimising exposure to outdoor allergens like pollen.

When you dry your clothes outdoors, they can collect pollen particles from the environment.

Bringing these clothes indoors can introduce pollen into your living space, potentially triggering or worsening hay fever symptoms. 


Regular vacuuming can help reduce hay fever symptoms by removing allergens, such as pollen, dust mites, and pet hair, from your indoor environment.

Having a vacuum cleaner with HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters can be beneficial also.

HEPA filters are designed to capture and trap microscopic particles, including common allergens such as pollen, dust mites, pet hair, and mould spores.

Pollen filter for air vents in your car 

Using a pollen filter for the air vents in your car can be helpful in reducing hay fever symptoms while driving. 

A pollen filter, also known as a cabin air filter, is designed to trap and filter out various airborne particles, including pollen, dust, and other allergens.

By installing a pollen filter in your car's air conditioning system, it can help reduce the amount of pollen entering the vehicle.

Rinsing hair

Rinsing your hair regularly can help reduce hay fever symptoms to some extent by removing potential allergens, such as pollen, that may have settled on your hair.

Pollen particles can easily stick to your hair when you spend time outdoors during hay fever season.

Rinsing your hair regularly helps to wash away these allergens, reducing the amount of pollen that may come into contact with your face, eyes, and skin.

Keeping pets clean

Keeping your pets clean can help reduce hay fever symptoms to some extent, especially if you are specifically allergic to pet hair.

Pet hair is a common allergen that can trigger hay fever symptoms in some individuals.

Keeping windows and doors shut 

Keeping windows and doors shut can help reduce hay fever symptoms by limiting the entry of outdoor allergens into your living space.

By keeping windows and doors shut, you create a barrier that prevents or minimises the entry of pollen into your home.


A hay fever injection, also known as allergen immunotherapy or allergy shots, is a treatment option for individuals with severe or persistent hay fever symptoms that are not adequately controlled by other medications. 

The injection aims to desensitise the immune system to specific allergens, such as pollen, by gradually exposing the body to increasing amounts of the allergen over time.

Allergen immunotherapy is considered a specialised treatment and is usually administered by allergy specialists or immunologists who have expertise in managing allergies.

The hay fever injection in the UK is only typically given to those who suffer from severe symptoms. 

Antihistamine tablets

Antihistamine tablets are a common medication used to relieve hay fever symptoms.

They work by blocking the effects of histamine, a chemical that is released by the immune system during an allergic reaction.

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Nasal spray

Allergy nasal sprays, also known as intranasal corticosteroids, are a type of medication used to alleviate hay fever symptoms.

These nasal sprays contain corticosteroids, which are anti-inflammatory medications that work locally in the nasal passages

Eye drops 

Allergy eye drops are a type of medication used to relieve symptoms associated with hay fever, specifically eye-related symptoms such as itching, redness, watering, and swelling.

These eye drops contain specific active ingredients that help alleviate allergic reactions in the eyes