From classic remedies and genius hacks these are the hay fever remedies to ease itchy eyes, tickly throats and constant sneezing our experts swear by

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There may have been a distinct lack of sun in the UK so far this summer but sadly there has not been a distinct lack of pollen. As anyone who sneezes 25 times in a row and wants to scratch their eyes out after a mere stroll in the park with testify.

Beyond the itchy, red eyes, tickly throat  and endless snot and sneezing, hay fever can seriously impact our lives. A 2006 study from the charity Education for Heath reported that students with hay fever were 40 per cent more likely to drop a grade between their mock and final exams if they were suffering from hay fever, while many women worry about the incontinence issue that goes hand in hand with sneezing.

Why do we get hay fever?

“Hay fever is an allergic reaction to pollen,” explains superintendent pharmacist for Boots, Claire Nevinson. “Symptoms typically occur when the pollen comes into contact with your mouth, nose, eyes and throat and the severity of symptoms will depend on the pollen count of where you are.”

Sadly there is no cure for hay fever but the good news is that the symptoms can be treated quite easily at home. As well as medication, there are a few old wives’ remedies that kept cropping up when researching this piece. Celebrity hair stylist Lewis Pallett  has a daily dose of honey made in his local area and this has reduced his massively. Taking bee pollen tablets was another popular tip.

We asked some trusted health and beauty experts - all hay fever sufferers - to impart their top tips, advice and products they reach for when the symptoms start.

“I couldn’t be without prescription antihistamines" - Anita Bhagwandas, beauty journalist and author of Ugly: Giving Us Back Our Beauty Standards, £14.15

I have had hay fever for as long as I can remember. It used to be a nightmare at school, especially when I was doing exams as my eyes would be so red and infected. I have contemplated getting the hay fever injection but I’ve heard really mixed things about it and the side effects, so for now I’m going to stick with my usual tried and tested method."

My hay fever remedy

“I take Fexofenadine, £8, antihistamine tablets, which I think are the best. You can get them on a prescription or buy them over the counter. I also use Alomide eye drops and Flixonase Nasal Spray, £20 and the Beconase Hayfever Relief for Adults, £4.67."

"I apply Vaseline, £1.80, around my nose to stop pollen from entering and use an air purifier in my home. Someone recommended that I try cutting an onion and leaving it in my bedroom with the windows shut so I’m going to try it!”

“My 10-year-old uses my glacial face globes to soothe her eyes and stop them from itching" - SJ Corfield-Smith, Get The Gloss Beauty Director

“I am not a hay fever sufferer myself but my eldest daughter gets it terribly and this summer it is particularly bad. In terms of symptoms, she gets them all; itchy eyes that get really red and swollen, a runny sniffly nose and her skin flares up in itchy hives too which then exacerbates her existing eczema. She’s only 10 so I’m using the advice of pharmacists, fellow parents and what my daughter tells me she thinks might help on how to treat it best and I think we’ve got a fairly good routine in place."

My daughter’s hay fever remedies

"Every morning and night she has a dose of liquid antihistamine. I can’t say any seem to outperform the others and as fellow parents know it’s more a case of what she can bear the taste of so it’s either Piriteze Allergy Relief Syrup, £6.80, or Piriton Children’s Allergy Syrup, £6.55."

"Like most 10-year-old girls cartwheeling is her preferred mode of transport so she has had to get into the habit of washing her hands after school break times to prevent grass seed going from her hands into her eyes. I also make sure that she has a shower, over a bath, every night to rinse away any pollen on her skin. Her skin can get so sore that highly scented shower gels are a no-no. Naturium The Glow Getter Multi-Oil Body Wash, £18, is fragrance-free, packed with lipids and soothes her inflamed skin without stripping it dry and comes in a huge pump dispenser so is surprisingly good value for how much you get."

"At night when her eyes are particularly itchy she uses my StylPro Facial Ice Globes, £34.99, which may sound ridiculously boujis, but they are the perfect shape for placing on her eyes and really help. Where her skin gets really dry it also gets very sore and lots of creams sting but it desperately needs to be hydrated. The only one she can tolerate is CeraVe Moisturising Cream, £17, which gets moisture back in her skin and helps build up her skin barrier. I buy the big tub as I know we’re going to get through it. "

"I’m also quite careful about what sun cream I put on her, not because I think it helps her hay fever but because it certainly reduces the itchiness in her skin and prevents the vicious itch-scratch cycle from getting worse. There are only two that I put on her - Child’s Farm Roll-On Sun Lotion SPF50+, £10 and La Roche-Posay Anthelios Invisible Spray 50+, £23.90." 

“I have tried every nasal spray and this is the best one” - Paulina Siembor, makeup artist

“I have had hay fever since I was a little kid. It normally starts in March and it gets worse as the months go by. I have to keep my sunglasses on to stop pollen from going in my eyes and I change the type of mascara I use."

My hay fever remedy

"I take 120mg of Fexofenadine but they make me quite drowsy so I take them at night. I also always have Murine Hayfever Relief Eye Drops, £4.99. I love them because they work so fast and really help with the itchiness and redness. At night time I put them in and then pop on the Fusion Allergy Cooling Mask, £8.99, which helps reduce the swelling."

"In my bag you will always find a nasal spray, I’ve tried them all and the Beconase Hayfever Relief for Adults, £4.49,  is the best one and really works. I apply some Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream, £28, around my nose to prevent the pollen from going up."

"I steer clear of any mascara that contains fibres because I don’t want them going in my, already irritated, eyes and then I seal my mascara with a clear top coat to make it waterproof - essential when you have hay fever. My mascara of choice is YSL Lash Clash Extreme Volume Mascara in Black, £29, because the formula is amazing and then I use Huda Beauty Legit Lashes Waterproof Topcoat, £17 on top.”

"Putting Vaseline around my nose and drying my clothes inside helped soothe my hay fever" - Dr Alia Ahmed, consultant dermatologist

"I'm 38 now and have suffered with hay fever since my teenage years. It was so bad that I often had nose bleeds and very high fevers. It sometimes stopped me from going to school. In exams I struggled because of my initials (AA) I was always at the front of the hall and it would be summer, so the windows and doors would be open. I would spend most of the time blowing my nose and would run out of tissues. It was not a good time for me. I tried lots of different antihistamines, there was a lot of trial and error before I found a remedy that worked for me."

My hay fever cure

"A combination of tried and tested hacks and antihistamines work for me. I use prescribed antihistamine Cetirizine with an over-the-counter steroid nasal spray Flixonase. Adding Vaseline around and in the nose also stops pollen going in and if my eyes do swell up, I use cool gel packs and artificial eye drops so take down the puffiness."

"I make an effort to stop pollen entering my work and living space where possible. For instance, I don’t dry my clothes outside when there's a high pollen count to stop the pollen from sticking to them. Limiting exposure and trapping the pollen (with the Vaseline) before it enters the body is very important. This combined with the antihistamine products and nasal sprays helps minimise the effects of pollen that does get me."

Make an appointment with Dr Alia Ahmed at  www.getharley.com

"Detoxing and cutting out dairy and sugar cured my hay fever" – Ruben Tabares, sports performance expert and nutritionist

“I suffered from terrible hay fever for a couple of years. It would hit me in April and May when the flowers came out and I would get an actual fever. I’d shake and feel like I had the flu. The worse thing about it was the itching at the back of my throat, nose and especially the eyes. I feared going outside and anti-histamines seemed to make it worse.

My hay fever remedy

“I finally cured my hay fever with a few different elements. Firstly, by following the 10 Day Detox from The Organic Pharmacy, £99.95, a programme to help gradually and gently cleanse and replenish the body with essential nutrients. I normally detox twice a year, once in September and again at the beginning of March before hay fever starts. If you are allergic to tree pollen then it would be prudent to start your detox in January.

"Being allergic to pollen I quickly found that wheat, dairy and sugar made my hay fever worse so I also cut these out during hay fever season, but from September to January I do indulge in wheat and a little dairy in the form of cheese. 

“I know now that toxins play an integral part in how your body handles allergies, disease and therefore how healthy you are. Changing the number of toxins coming into my body by switching to organic toothpaste, skincare products and even the detergents I wash my clothes in has given me complete freedom from hay fever. I feel incredible, no matter what time of the year it is.

“Increasing the amount of water I drink to five litres per day and cutting out wheat, dairy and sugar and adding things such as the algae chlorella to my diet keeps me hay fever-free. 

Ruben works in partnership with The Organic Pharmacy. Follow him on Instagram

"Prescription antihistamines really made a difference" – Aimee Victoria Long, personal trainer

“I had hay fever from May to September for as long as I could remember, even as a child. I used eye drops, tablets and nasal spray to try and relieve my symptoms. When it was at its worse, rather than just getting a runny nose and itching eyes, I felt feel incredibly run down, almost as though I had flu symptoms. It stopped me from training outside and I avoided barbecues and picnics at the height of the pollen count.

“Optivar prescription eye drops relieved my eyes for a short amount of time, but they didn't do much long-term. I also used the Dymista, a prescription nasal spray that did work but it was a horrible sensation spritzing up my nose especially if you’re using it several times a day as I was.

My hay fever cure

“I take Allevia, £11.99, the daily antihistamine  Fexofenadine. Until recently it as only available on prescription, now it's over the counter. This combined with the nose spray seems to keep the symptoms at bay.”

Follow Aimee Victoria Long on Instagram

"Two sessions of Indian acupuncture made my hay fever symptoms disappear" – Dr Nitasha Buldeo, Founder of Organic Apoteke and acupuncturist

Image: Unsplash

"I quite suddenly developed hay fever in my late twenties. It was initially triggered by the rape fields in flower in late summer, but the following year my symptoms began in spring. After that, I struggled with symptoms annually for about ten years.

“My symptoms were severe; I had itchy eyes, ear canal and throat and constant sneezing. It made me feel irritable, moody and tired. When the pollen count was high I was unable to go outdoors. I am a runner and love doing yoga outdoors, so the hay fever had a real impact on my routine.

“I tried homoeopathic remedies initially. One that worked well for me was Ainsworths 30C Kali Bich Homoeopathic Remedy tablets, £8.49. I also tried traditional acupuncture, as it's a brilliant treatment for many conditions, but not hay fever.”

My hay fever cure

“I tried marmapuncture which is the Indian style of acupuncture (where needles are placed at certain points of the body and left for 20 minutes to restore the internal balance of the body). It uses fewer needles than traditional acupuncture. I first came across it in India and had it done there. After two treatments, my hay fever symptoms completely disappeared. I was hay fever-free for the entire year.

"What surprised me most was that the next spring I had no hay fever symptoms. For the last eight years, I've had a marmapuncture treatment for hay fever once per year in early spring to prevent hay fever coming on. I have been so impressed with how effective marmapuncture is that I trained in the field and offer it to my acupuncture clients. I currently self-administer my treatments for hay fever, but if I am unable to treat myself I go to Dr Shanta Godagama at the Hale Clinic in London.

“Hay fever is an immune response. It’s your body’s way of dealing with an irritant. Marmapuncture works because it helps balance the body’s energy (prana) system and immune response."

Learn more about Organic Apoteke

Dr Nitasha offers marmapuncture at her clinics in London and Bedfordshire, for between £40 and £60. Visit www.nitashabuldeo.com  for appointments.

"Washing my hair before bed and using anti-allergy bedding helps me" – Rob Hobson, registered nutritionist

"Every spring you’ll find me sniffling. From March onwards, my sinuses are always inflamed and swollen. I’m always apologising when I’m sniffing in meetings. It’s hard to feel clear-headed when you have a presentation or a meeting but sleep is tricky when you struggle to breathe through your nose. I often wake up in the night with a dry mouth. I’m sure pollution levels have made it worse in recent years – our respiratory systems are even more overloaded. I wouldn’t say I’ve cured my hay fever but I have some key tools that help me and I’m really strict about using them."

My hay fever remedies

"My head won’t hit the pillow until I have washed my hair and beard. Pollen can become trapped in your hair and on your clothes and you don’t want that around your face at night. I have anti-allergy duvets and pillows from John Lewis – anything that reduces the allergy load while you sleep is a bonus. I change my sheets twice a week.

"During the day, I’ll always wear sunglasses without fail as a physical barrier against pollen and I love a balm that you put under your nose that traps the pollen. Haymax, £8.49, is a budget one I like to inhale a few drops of De Mamiel Altitude Oil, £35, which is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral (it was made for air travel, but it great for hay fever) unblocks your nose and smells divine. 

"If my nose is red and inflamed I’ll use De Mamiel Skin Recovery Blend, £105, which soothes inflamed skin.

"I also carry A.Vogel Moisturising Eye Drops, £11.50 and A. Vogel Pollinosan Nasal Spray, £9.99, with me. At home, I keep eye drops in the fridge which makes them especially soothing in summer. Anti-histamines are a no brainer for me when things get bad.

"I do like to have the window open – often it’s just not possible in summer to keep it closed so this year I’m investing in a Dyson Pure Cool, £399.99, which is both a cooler and an air purifier that removes even tiny particles. Expensive yes, but if you suffer from airborne allergies and have difficulty sleeping as I do  it’s a good investment."

Rob Hobson is author of The Art of Sleeping

MORE GLOSS: The embarrassing reason why a third of women dread hayfever season