Hay fever

What is it and how can I treat it?

Hay fever is a common problem experienced by many of us at this time of year.

Fortunately you do not need an appointment with or a prescription from your doctor as hay fever treatments and advice are available over the counter at your local pharmacy.

Please discuss hay fever issues with your pharmacist initially,  rather than contacting the surgery.

Parkbury House do not take requests for medication, including hay fever treatment, over the telephone.  This enables us to deal with more urgent medical problems as quickly as possible.   For this reason, the telephone triage doctors will not be dealing with first line hay fever medication requests.

Hay fever is caused by an allergy to pollen.  It can affect people from March to  October. The symptoms of hay fever – runny, itchy and/or blocked nose, sneezing and itchy eyes – are caused by your immune systems reacting to the pollen.  It is very common and affects 1 in 5 people in the UK and tends to run in families.  The severity of symptoms can vary from person to person but most of the common symptoms can be treated by using a variety of methods:

  •  Antihistamine sprays
  • Antihistamine tablets
  • Steroid nose sprays
  • Eye drops

Most of these can be bought at your local pharmacy of supermarket. Own brands are just as affective as branded products and are much more reasonably priced. They are often cheaper to buy than to have on prescription so avoid asking your doctor.

Although it is impossible to totally avoid pollen, symptoms tend to be less severe if you reduce your exposure to it:

  • Stay indoors as much as possible and keep windows and doors shut
  • Avoid cutting grass, large grassy places and camping
  • Shower and wash your hair after being outdoors, especially after going to the countryside
  • Wear wrap around sunglasses when you are out
  • Keep car windows closed, and consider buying a pollen filter for the air vents in your car.  These should be changed at every service

For more information about hay-fever treatment, please see: