There’s currently no cure for hay fever, but most people are able to relieve symptoms with treatment – to a certain extent.
1. Have more sex
Apparently, having sex can help to relieve symptoms of congestion.
Researchers at Tabriz Medical University in Iran suggested that getting frisky during pollen season could ease allergy-related symptoms such as sneezing.
According to their study, sex causes blood vessels in nasal passages to constrict helping to clear blocked noses and dry up runny eyes.
Max Wiseberg, airborne allergen expert and founder of HayMax barrier balms, said: “There is research which suggests that sex could help with the symptoms, so that may be something to consider although there may be some practical issues around timing and locations.
“However there is probably not a more pleasant way to deal with the symptoms of hay fever.”
The only downside is that the effects are thought to only affect guys who ejaculate – not women.
2. Avoid pollen
The most effective way to control hay fever is to avoid exposure to pollen.
Allergy UK says the best way to do this is to keep windows and doors closed when inside – especially early in the morning and evening when the pollen count is highest.
They also advise avoiding peak pollen times and wearing wraparound sunglasses and a hat to prevent pollen getting onto the face and in the eyes.
You should also avoid drying clothes on an outdoor washing line and shower when you get indoors to remove pollen from your skin and hair.
Antihistamines treat hay fever by blocking the action of the chemical histamine, which the body releases when it thinks it’s under attack from an allergen. This stops the symptoms of the allergic reaction.
Antihistamines are usually effective at treating itching, sneezing and watery eyes, but they may not help with clearing a blocked nose.
They’re available in tablet form and also as nasal sprays and eye drops.
Corticosteroids (steroids) are used to treat hay fever because they have an anti-inflammatory effect.
When pollen triggers your allergic reaction, the inside of your nose becomes inflamed.
Corticosteroids can reduce the inflammation and prevent the symptoms of hay fever.
5. Natural remedies
Many people are turning towards natural remedies rather than conventional medicine to alleviate symptoms.
Some try inhaling steam to clear congestion while others suggest drinking nettle tea – an anti-inflammatory.
She added: “Allergic reactions can cause symptoms in your nose, especially pollen allergies during hay fever season, which can cause nasal congestion.
“Allergies may also trigger symptoms of asthma, and can make breathing more difficult.
“If you are struggling with your breathing you should speak to your local pharmacist or GP for advice.
“Drug free therapy is a way of helping to treat symptoms without taking medication.
“It involves using natural techniques or products to alleviate your symptoms.
“This approach used on its own or combined with medication can be a more sustainable way of helping to manage your condition.”
3. Avoid polluted areas
Pollution can cause symptoms such as irritated airways, breathlessness and coughing.
Long term, high pollution levels can even lead to lung conditions including asthma and lung cancer.
Lloyds Pharmacy pharmacist Pareena Patel says: “You may be more at risk of pollution aggravating symptoms, if you have a long-term respiratory condition, and can help manage your symptoms by avoiding pollution hot spots and reducing or avoiding strenuous outdoor exercise.”
4. Speak to your pharmacist
If you’ve got any concerns about your asthma or know that summer can be triggering for your symptoms, it’s best to see a medical professional.
Pareena says: “If you know that your asthma symptoms increase in the summer season or can be triggered by warm weather or hayfever, visit your local LloydsPharmacy and speak to your pharmacist who will be able to give advice on what the best treatment is tailored to you.
“LloydsPharmacy offer advice and information on medications you are currently taking, and can help with any questions you may have about your inhaler technique.
“You should also be attending an annual asthma review appointment with your GP or Asthma Nurse.”