Achoo! It's sneezy season!

The sun is shining, flowers are blooming, eyes are itching, and noses are streaming, ahh… allergy season...

Have you ever found yourself amid a beautiful sunny day, only to have your allergies take over? You may have thoughts along the lines of “Why me?” or “Will this ever stop?”, if so, then you're in the right place.

Why do I get hay fever?

Hay fever is a common pollen allergy that comes from grass, trees and plants. Hay fever arises when the pollen particles come into contact with your mouth, nose, and throat, causing irritation and activating an allergic reaction – which is simply down to an overactive immune system.

One in five people suffer from hay fever, with genetic factors having a significant impact on who does and doesn’t get affected.

For some people, hay fever is something that they know is going to impact them every year, so can prepare in advance, they know what products work for them and where to get them. For others, it’s a bit of a gamble. Some people won’t experience hay fever for many years then one spring it may suddenly hit them!

Woman blower her nose with a tissue

Frequently Asked Questions

When is hay fever season in the UK?

Hay fever is especially prominent during spring and can continue through the summer. However, it is possible to get it year long, especially if you live around nature or the countryside. Tree pollen tends to be released from March until early May, however, grass pollen is from late May to early August, and weeds or certain shrubs release their pollen in the late summer.

Pollen count peaks at midday or early afternoon when there is a high concentration of pollen in the air.

What is allergic rhinitis?

Allergic rhinitis is the symptom of an allergic reaction, it is when your allergies cause your nose to become irritated, which results in symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, and the roof of your mouth becoming itchy.

Learn more about allergic rhinitis from the NHS

What are the worst symptoms of hay fever?

Many people will be aware and familiar with the primary symptoms of hay fever, including red, itchy eyes, sneezing, and a blocked or runny nose. However, you may also experience a headache, earache due to wax build-up, and possible loss of smell. In rare cases, hay fever has been reported to have caused nosebleeds. Those with asthma will also get wheezy with a tight chest, finding it difficult to breathe.

Is there a cure for hay fever?

There is no cure for hay fever, but there is medication you can take to reduce symptoms which can be found at your pharmacy. However, if nothing seems to help you, your GP may prescribe you antihistamines, medicines that can relieve your hay fever and allergy symptoms, they may also prescribe a steroid nasal spray.

Hey Pharmacist can help you manage your repeat prescriptions, and if you want to avoid going outside to reduce the risk of hay fever allergies, you can have your medication delivered to your door for free!

How your pharmacist can help with hay fever

There are various hay fever and allergy products available at your local pharmacy that can help relieve your symptoms so that you can enjoy sunny days outside without a sniffle! Ask your pharmacist for the best treatments and products. They may recommend you see your GP if you have symptoms of asthma.

Pharmacies in Scotland and Wales can offer easy access to tailored advice and treatment for hay fever. Simply pop in for expert advice today!

man blowing nose near trees and shrubs

How to prevent hay fever

If you struggle with hay fever getting in the way of daily tasks, there are ways around it. Here are some of our tips to help you enjoy your spring and summer.

  • Shower regularly, washing your hair and changing your clothes
  • Keep your windows closed, mainly during early mornings when pollen is released, and also in the evenings
  • Avoid mowing the lawn and keep gardening to a minimum if you can
  • Avoid drying your clothes outside
  • Apply Vaseline to your nostrils to trap pollen, you can also purchase an allergen barrier balm.
  • If you want to get outside, it’s best to get out after some rain, which clears pollen from the air.
  • Don’t smoke or be around smoke
  • Vacuum regularly and dust with a damp cloth

Natural remedies for hay fever


Allergies are never fun. Just when flu season is coming to a close, you’re once again hit with the sniffles. It can be tricky to put your finger on whether it's hay fever or a cold, especially in March and April. It seems like a never-ending cycle but, with our tips and your pharmacist's help, you can tackle allergy season head-on.