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What is best hayfever treatment for you?

What is best hayfever treatment for you?

Hayfever is unfortunately something that many of us will be affected by.  For some, the onset of pollen season is enough to take the fun out of the beautiful weather. If you are someone that spends their summer sneezing with puffy eyes and a red nose, we’ve got you covered with our guide to battling those allergies!


What is Hayfever?

Hayfever is a type of allergic rhinitis, which is an inflammation of the inside of the nose, usually caused by exposure to pollen or spores. 

During the Spring and Summer, trees, grass and plants release pollen as part of their reproductive process and the allergic effect of this is called seasonal rhinitis or more commonly hayfever. The pollen count is not always the same, meaning on some days with a higher pollen count you may feel a different severity of symptoms. If you are someone that suffers heavily from hayfever symptoms, it might also be worth considering the pollen forecast. Though if you are experiencing these allergic reactions all year round, this is called perennial rhinitis and is usually triggered by dust, mould spores or animal dander.

When you experience an allergic reaction, your body often increases production of a substance called Histamine. This is released naturally as a response to something “harmful” being detected in the body. In an attempt to fight this “harmful reaction”, your blood vessels expand and the skin starts to swell up. If you are experiencing hayfever, this can result in an itchy or sore throat, runny nose, itchy red eyes and sneezing.

According to the Asthma Society of Ireland, hayfever will affect 1 in 5 people, so it is essential to recognise the symptoms, understand the information needed to protect yourself and know of the treatments available.

The most common symptoms include but are not limited to:

  • Sneezing
  • Itchy, blocked or runny nose
  • Red, itchy, watery eyes
  • Itchy throat/mouth (oral allergy syndrome)
  • Itchy inner ear
  • Fatigue
  • Reduced sense of taste and smell
  • Headaches
  • Loss of concentration and generally feeling unwell.

What can I do to treat it?

There are many ways you can treat hayfever. One of the first things to consider is the many over-the counter products available, whether it’s once a day antihistamine tablets, nasal sprays, nasal rinses or eye drops, there is an option to suit everyone. The key to treating hayfever is to tackle the symptoms early, especially if you have a history of hayfever. Preparing for hayfever season by starting a hayfever treatment is a great way to to fight off any heavy allergies.

A great first line treatment would be an antihistamine preparation, which will help stop the histamine reaction from occuring, especially if you’ve taken it before you’ve come into contact with a substance you’re allergic to. They can also reduce the severity of your symptoms if you take them afterwards, though for the best defence it’s best to take them ahead of time. There are a number of different types of antihistamine's available to help you tackle your allergy symptoms, see our recommended antihistamines below.


Cetrine Allergy Relief Tablets 30's are a non-drowsy, daily dose antihistamine tablet that works as an “all-in-one” product that lasts up to 24 hours. It’s effective at relieving hayfever symptoms such as a runny or blocked nose, sneezing, itchy watery eyes, and symptoms of hives.

Telfast is powerful antihistamine that’s used to treat hay fever symptoms like sneezing, itching and watery eyes. After taking Telfast, your symptoms should get better in 1-2 hours, and you will be protected from hay fever for the rest of the day.


Piriton Antihistamine Allergy Relief Tablets 30s are perfect for those suffering specifically with skin reactions, from insect bites or stings for example. This treatment can also cause drowsiness, which can be helpful for those who have issues sleeping due to their allergies, however it is only meant to be used as a short term solution.


You can also find Cetrine in a liquid form, Cetrine Allergy Oral Solution 200ml is perfect for those that don’t like to swallow tablets. It is suitable for children aged 2 and over, For those between the ages of 2-6 years old, they can take 2.5ml up to twice daily and for children between 6-12 years old the dose is 5 ml up to twice daily.

Unfortunately for those that are extremely sensitive to allergens, some antihistamine preparations aren’t enough when it comes to tackling their hayfever symptoms. Luckily there are more options available to help control more severe symptoms.


Nasal Sprays

Nasal Sprays are available over-the-counter and come in the form of steroid nasal sprays such as Nasacort, Flixonase and Beconase.

Steroid nasal sprays are a great option for reducing nasal and eye symptoms, they work by reducing the inflammation of the nasal passages, however they can take up to four days for the maximum effects to set in.

Nasacort Allergy Nasal Spray is an over-the-counter non-drowsy nasal spray that offers 24 hours relief of nasal symptoms with a single daily dose. This product is only suitable for adults over the age of 18, it is also scent-free, alcohol-free and is safe to use with blood pressure medication.

Beconase Hayfever Relief Nasal Spray is a highly effective, non-drowsy nasal spray that is perfect for treating and preventing allergies from the likes of dust mites, pollen and even pet allergies. It's anti-inflammatory action makes it a highly effective treatment for relieving nasal congestion, a runny nose or fits of sneezing.


Nasal Rinses and Saline Sprays

Nasal rinses and saline sprays are a great option for clearing up nasal symptoms and flushing pollen out of the nasal cavity. Though the idea of squirting water up your nose can put some people off, this is a genuinely great alternative to the sneezing fits that come with hayfever.

The Neilmed Sinus Rinse Starter Kit is perfect for someone trying a nasal rinse for the first time. It is easy-to-use and the kit comes with everything you need to get started. The starter kit contains sinus rinse sachets and a delivery bottle, with refill sachets available to purchase once the initial sachets from the kit run out. While the bottle can be reused, it is recommended that you replace the bottle every three months. The sachets contain a mixture of USP grade sodium chloride and sodium bicarbonate and are of a very high quality.

One key thing to note is that you should never rinse the nasal passage with just regular water as it is not compatible with the nasal lining and can cause a severe burning sensation. The type of water used to make the rinse is important, plain tap water, even if drinkable should NOT be used. It is advised that you use cool boiled water, as this is sterilised. It is also possible to store cool boiled water for up to seven days, just make sure it is kept in a clean container.

Neilmed Sinus Rinses are very easy to use, even for first timers. First step is to wash your hands, then fill the bottle with the cool boiled water to the line marked on the side of the bottle. Pour the contents of the sachet directly into the bottle, replace the lid and secure tightly. Place your finger over the top of the cap and shake the bottle gently until the contents are dissolved. Now that you have the bottle prepared, stand in front of a sink and bend forward, tilting your head down. Making sure to keep your mouth open and without holding your breath, place the cap of the bottle against the nasal passage as snugly as is comfortable. You must squeeze the bottle very gently until the solution begins to drain from the opposite nostril, make sure to keep doing this until a quarter of the bottle is gone. Then stop and blow your nose gently. Avoid pinching the nose tightly when blowing so you don’t put too much pressure on the eardrums. Sniff gently to remove any residual solution left in the passage.

This rinse will clean out the nasopharyngeal area, which is hard to reach at the back of the nose. Repeat this rinsing action with the other nostril. Once you have finished, rinse out the bottle and cap and leave it out to air dry. DO NOT swallow the solution.


The Sterimar range is also a suitable option for everyone in the family. Their purified seawater based nasal sprays are rich in salts, minerals and trace elements, which can be helpful to overall health and wellbeing. They are 100% natural, drug-free and preservative-free. They have a range of products suitable for use from birth, in pregnancy and breastfeeding.

The Sterimar Breath Easy Isotonic Nasal Spray is their original formulation, which contains the same concentration of salt as the cells in the human body. It specialises in cleansing the nasal passage by eliminating impurities and facilitating breathing. The Stop and Protect Allergy Response spray works to remove pollen and other allergens from the nose, which helps to decrease symptoms. This product is suitable for ages 3 and up, as well as pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers.


Eye Drops

Perhaps one of the most uncomfortable symptoms of hayfever are red, itchy, watery, puffy eyes. There is nothing worse than having stingy eyes when out on a walk, or worse, the heartache around leaky mascara!


Opticrom Allergy Eye Drops are a great option when it comes to alleviating these symptoms fast. The drops come in a 10ml bottle and the recommended dose is one to two drops in both eyes up to four times a day. If you wear contact lenses these can still be used however you should remove the lenses before using the drops and wait 15 minutes before putting the contact lenses back in.


If your eyes become very irritated and sore, Optrex Multi-Action Eye Wash can be useful to wash the eye out and hopefully remove any pollen in and around the eye.


Hay Band Acupressure Band are also available to help alleviate hayfever symptoms. These bands are another natural drug-free, non-drowsy product that are designed to apply a small amount of pressure on the LI-11 acupressure points on either side of the arm. They can be used once hayfever symptoms have begun but can also be used as a preventative measure.

It is Important to note that despite the fact that hay-bands are drug-free, these are NOT to be used in pregnancy. The LI-11 pressure points have been used to assist in the onset of labour so must be avoided. These bands can be worn by adults and children from the age of 3.

If you are looking for more information on hayfever or how you can treat your hayfever symptoms, speak to one of our expert pharmacy teams today.

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