I have been a chronic hay fever sufferer since I was little and I suffer terribly during the summer. Sometimes my eyes are so swollen I can barely see and I can’t breathe through my nose without the help of a nasal spray for months on end. It’s such a common allergy so we’re going to look at some ways of how to deal with hay fever and some tips for managing hay fever symptoms.

tips for managing hay fever

Hay fever is one of the most common allergies and so many people suffer with it to some extent at some point throughout the year. I suffer pretty badly, so I need to take a lot of precautions every year to ensure my whole Spring and Summer isn’t ruined from it.

Hay fever is an allergic reaction to pollen, typically when it comes into contact with your mouth, nose, eyes and throat. Symptoms typically include:

  • Sneezing
  • Blocked nose or snotty nose
  • Itchy eyes, ears or throat
  • Swollen and watery eyes
  • Sinus pressure or headaches
  • Feeling tired

Conditions such as asthma and eczema can also flare up and get worse when hay fever season hits, so you might find that those conditions get worse at the same time and you get severe hay fever symptoms.

How long does hay fever last? Hay fever can typically be present any time between March and October; it depends on which pollen you’re allergic to, as different pollen is present at different times of year. Based on a pollen calendar, if you experience hay fever earlier on in the year, this means that you’re allergic to tree pollen.

Grass pollen is the longest running pollen season, lasting all the way until September. And weed pollen season is usually the last pollen season of the year. You might want to know how to stop hay fever immediately but I’m afraid there’s no ultimate cure or quick-fix.

So whether you need to lock yourself away in a room with no windows and no way for pollen to get in for 3 months out of the year or whether you have the sneezes every once in a while, here are some tips for managing hay fever symptoms to make your summer a little less… snotty.

tips for managing hay fever symptoms

Tips for managing hay fever symptoms:

Steam your face to relieve sinus headaches

Sinus headaches can be common with hay fever, due to feeling so blocked and they’re really uncomfortable headaches to have. If you have the means to do so, buying a facial steamer can really help relieve that pressure.

If you can’t, then simply use a bowl of boiling water and place a towel over your head so you’re able to safely breathe in the steam. One year, I had a week long sinus headache due to hay fever – it was awful!

Related Read: How I Deal With Headaches

Take a hay fever tablet every single day

One of the most obviously tips on managing hay fever symptoms is of course, to take medication. And ensure you’re taking it every day, so you build up that immunity.

Ideally, you should be taking your tablets BEOFRE your hay fever symptoms start. So if you know you tend to start suffering around April, then starting your medication in February will help your body build up immunity.

Although I’ve never found tablets to take away the symptoms of hay fever completely, they do take the edge of. And always seek advice from your GP if you’re really struggling.

Shut your windows

Although it’s probably the last thing you want to do when it’s hot in the Summer, shutting your windows can help keep the pollen out and the pollen levels lower in your room or house. If there are alternative ways to keep cool, you should try and find them because this makes a big difference!

My boyfriend and I suffer terribly with hay fever so this has been one of the best tips for managing hay fever symptoms that has worked for us.

Tips for managing hay fever symptoms continued:

Wash your hair more regularly

Pollen can really get stuck to your hair. Even just a quick walk around the park or from sitting in the garden for 10 minutes can allow it to settle in and stay there! So if you’re able try and up the amount that you wash your hair in the Summer.

And if you’ve been somewhere particularly grassy for the day or surrounded by trees and flowers, definitely wash it when you get home! You might want to follow some addition hair self care tips as well.

If you’re struggling to stay cool in the Summer this is also a great way to keep your body temperature down too, so it’s a double win!

Use eye drops and nasal spray

Along with medication, you might need additional things to help you deal with hay fever. Two things I find really helpful every single year are eye drops and nasal spray.

Eye drops can help relieve the itchiness that hay fever causes and nasal spray can help clear your airways and give your nasal passage a protective barrier from the pollen.

I use the Thealoz products for Dry Eye Disease and also to relieve some of the symptoms of hay fever and I would highly recommend these products; there’s a huge range and they’re excellent. But of course, as always, check with your GP to ensure these items are safe for you to use.

Check the pollen levels daily

And finally, check the pollen daily before you leave the house.

If you are leaving the house so you know whether you’re going to need to take extra “stuff” to manage during the day (tissues, eye drops etc.). The BBC Weather app includes a ‘low’, ‘medium’, ‘high’ or ‘very high’ pollen count daily in the summer!

For medical advice on hay fever, check out the NHS website here.

tips for managing hay fever

Hay fever can be really tough and hard to manage. It sounds like a pretty mild allergy to have – especially when you say “I’m allergic to flowers!” like how bad can it be, right? – but it can be REALLY difficult and uncomfortable when you have bad hay fever symptoms. It really can ruin your day.

So if you’re really suffering from hay fever, do whatever you can and whatever you need to manage your symptoms and help make you more comfortable. Continue to follow self care advice as well, as to not let it bring you down, too.

Are you a hay fever sufferer? What other tips for managing hay fever symptoms do you have to add to this list? Let me know!

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37 Comments

  1. Hey, Jenny! Thankfully my daily Cetrizine generally manages my allergies. I am from the US and when I moved to the UK,I saw an uptick in my sensitivity and since I started taking the anti-allergen daily it’s helped so much!

    1. Wow, really? We must have stronger pollen over here! I use medication with that ingredient in but unfortunately doesn’t help me THAT much. Going to the docs next week to hopefully get something stronger!

  2. These are all brilliant tips, thank you for sharing! I don’t usually suffer with hay fever, and hopefully I won’t this year but my fiancé does, he struggles massively with it so definitely going to be showing this post to him and hopefully it will help as summer goes on!

    Tiffany x http://www.foodandotherloves.co.uk

  3. I’ve never suffered with it before but this summer I suddenly have! Also, ever since I came home from Uni I’ve been allergic to cats and there are THREE in my house! I’ll definitely be using some of these tips – I’ve never thought about washing hair more as a treatment! x

    1. That’s so weird that you’ve just randomly developed hay fever and an allergic reaction to cats this year?! I hope some of these help a bit and YES the hair washing one is something people overlook so easily but it makes totally sense, especially if you’ve got long hair! xx

  4. Fantastic tips! I never used to have hay fever until I had my little one and now it kills me every spring/summer. My eyes swell and my nose and throat goes sore. I’ll definetly be trying out your tips!

    Jordanne || Thelifeofaglasgowgirl.co.uk

  5. Oh wow, I’ve never thought of steaming my face after a day outside, but that makes so much sense! I’ll have to break out my facial steamer more often; my nose has been so insanely itchy the past few days. Thanks for this!

    Amber || mylifeinlimbo.com

    1. Face steamers are the best?! If you get blocked too, they you can buy these little pots of menthol crystals which you put in the water and it clears your sinuses because obvs hay fever can sometimes give you sinus headaches! xx

  6. My son (7) got sent home the other day because his hay fever was acting up, he hadn’t had it in a year so we hadn’t taken any precautions and on a nature walk it flared up because they were leaning in to look at flowers etc. When his teacher brought him out his eyes were so so swollen and he couldn’t stop sneezing. She said a few of them had gotten it and not to worry but I felt so guilty. It’s been acting up since but we’ve started giving him a hay fever medicine. I am planning on going into the doctor with him to figure out something more permanent, it says you can’t stay on it longer than a month. We’ve started the honey thing too but he was so bad that day that we do have to figure something out! Great post, windows are all shut now!

    1. Oh no! That reminds me of when I was in primary school on a school trip and my eyes were so bad I could barely see and they hurt SO MUCH. Hope some of these tips help a bit and your son can find something that works for him!

  7. I’ve only just woken up and my nose is itchy and getting blocked already! But I find eye drops do the most good because it’s always my eyes that are the worst affected

      1. Tell me about it! Most of my prom pictures are awful because of red, watery eyes thanks to hay fever…. thanks! I hope so too!

  8. Steam is my one and only cure during summer, (actually during most of the year since I live in a tropical monsoon area) and usually, I have to inhale steam every day if I want to avoid medications like tablets or nasal sprays. There are days when it gets really awful and I must go to the doctor, but they always look at me sadly and say “You should move to Canada. That’s your only long time cure.” XD

    1. Steam is a great tip! I’ve been steaming my face a bit lately as I’ve developed an awful post nasal drip cough and I am SO phlegm-y! Steam really takes the edge off

    1. Ugh my boyfriend has asthma as well and it always seems worse in the summer when his hay fever is bad! Great tips, too! Hope you don’t suffer TOO badly this year’

      1. You too. Our seasons are starting to mesh into each other which is making the pollen worse every year! I’m used to a cold winter where everything dies lol!

  9. Nasal sprays are my go to. I’ve tried so many pills that never did anything. Or maybe they did, but it didn’t seem like they did. I’m now doing immunotherapy. It takes a couple of years (2-5 depending on the method), but then I shouldn’t have any symptoms anymore at all. It already seems to be lessening. Though I still have my best friend nose spray around at the moment.

    1. Oh my god I’ve never heard of that, could you contact me on Twitter @jennymarston_xo and give me more info? The nasal spray is definitely my saviour as well – I wouldn’t be able to breath without it!

  10. My sister gets terrible hay fever and it mixes with her allergies and asthma leaving her not being able to breathe well (allot more in the summer weather) and then her anxiety sets in because of it. I’m always on the lookout for stuff that might help her so this post is amazing! Recently we got her some local honey to have a spoonful of each day as my nan who also suffers hay fever has found it helps because the local honey will counteract with the local pollen and stop it’s worst symptoms. Great post! Have a lovely day 😄💗

    1. I heard the honey thing too – I hate honey it makes me feel sick but I might just suck it up and eat it! Thanks for commenting! I hope your sister doesn’t get too bad this year and she finds some stuff that helps her!

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