Create A First Aid Kit For Your Hay Fever

Shutterstock / Billion Photos © Woman taking deep breath outdoors

“Many hay fever sufferers will tell you that nothing works,” says famous airborne allergens expert Max Wiseberg, “or that some remedies help, but nothing does the whole job. Or things help one year, but don’t work the following year. And it’s true for so many people. Sadly, there is no cure for hay fever but once you understand more about how remedies work, you’ll see that creating your own hay fever first aid kit, and following the rules carefully, is a really good idea.

“Pharmaceutical remedies are generally based on either antihistamines or steroid nasal sprays,” says Max, “whilst natural remedies are based on physical preventative measures, immune boosters or natural antihistamines. The interesting thing about this is that many of these remedies can be complementary to each other. So if one helps, but doesn’t do the whole job, you may be able to try other remedies at the same time and get a better result. In other words, you can create your own, bespoke hay fever first aid kit that suits your specific needs.

“However, there are rules: never take two antihistamines together, never take two steroid nasal sprays together, and consult your pharmacist or doctor about it if you are already taking another medication. I suggest that your ideal hay fever first aid kit will consist of one or more natural products, only one antihistamine, only one nasal spray and eye drops.”

“There are a great range of natural products for hay fever on the market, here are just a few; you’ll find more in your local health store, pharmacy or online. Allergen barrier balms, such as HayMax, work by trapping allergens before they enter the body through the nose and eyes. HayMax has been proven to trap over one third of pollen grains, and is drug free, organic, and natural, meaning it is suitable for everyone, including children and pregnant and breast-feeding women.

Front view of a single girl sneezing and blowing in a wipe outdoors with a green background.;

Pic: Shutterstock

“You can also buy natural eye drops which contain a herb called Euphrasia (more commonly known as Eyebright). This relieves inflammation and swelling and is thought to be a helpful allergy relief remedy. Butterbur is a herbal extract believed to have an antihistamine-like effect on hay fever symptoms, and is widely available in capsules. Quercetin is thought to limit the release of histamine. As well as being found naturally in many foods, it can also be taken in a capsule. Turmeric, commonly used in Middle Eastern and Asian cuisine, is a spice containing curcumin, which has been found to have anti-allergy properties. Most often used in dried form, it can also be bought fresh and is available in tablet and capsule form.

Close up,Turmeric powder and fresh turmeric (curcumin) rhizome on a wooden background,Turmeric is used to produce medicine,

Pic: Shutterstock

“Antihistamines are a very common hay fever remedy. When we get hay fever our body reacts to the allergen and produces too many histamines which trigger the unpleasant symptoms. Antihistamines do exactly what it says on the box; they anti the histamine. However, histamines also help keep us alert, attentive and awake. This is why antihistamines can cause drowsiness. There are different types of antihistamines so if one doesn’t work, you can try another – look for the active ingredient on the box. They are best taken at least one month before the hay fever season starts. It’s just that lots of people never know exactly when that will be!

“Nasal sprays target congestion and stuffiness as well as other symptoms of hay fever because the medicine is targeted directly to the nose, which is the main entrance for allergens to enter the body. An additional benefit of this is that very little of the active ingredients get any further than the nose, reducing the chance of experiencing side effects. Steroid nasal sprays work by fighting inflammation and mucus production, reducing the allergic reaction of your nasal tissues to the inhaled allergen. Very few side effects are associated with steroid nasal sprays. Again, check the active ingredient; if one doesn’t work for you, you might find another works better.

Woman putting eye drops in

Pic; Shutterstock

“Eye drops work in one of three ways to reduce your allergic reaction to pollen. Some stop the histamine release, some are anti-inflammatory and others block the inflammation caused by histamine. They can bring relief to itchy eyes and help stop watery or streaming eyes.”

HayMax products group shot

Moira Chisholm

I'm the Health Editor on My Weekly and am always interested to hear what's new in this fascinating field. I also deal with the gardening, shopping pages, general features, our website content and the Ask Helen problem page. I have a special interest in Christmas content because I'm on the team for Your Best Ever Christmas Magazine, too!