Pollen count: Five treatments to prevent hay fever symptoms when the pollen count is high

The pollen count today (Saturday 4 May) has been forecast as moderate by the Met Office, which means symptoms may not be as bad for hay fever sufferers. But with summer weather and higher pollen counts on the way, and particularly for those with hay fever who suffer from strong bouts of sneezing, coughing and itchy eyes, it’s important to know the most effective treatment for you. Superdrug Online Doctor offers its best advice for dealing with high pollen counts. It says: “Different people are affected by pollen in different ways.

During high pollen counts you may want to consider using medicines like intranasal corticosteroids

“Some people may only experience symptoms during times of high or very high pollen count; others may experience symptoms even during times of low or moderate pollen count.”

If you have hay fever and the pollen count is high or very high, it adds you may want to consider using medicines aimed at preventing the symptoms, like intranasal corticosteroids.

These include:

  • Beclometasone
  • Fluticasone
  • Triamcinolone
  • Budesonide
  • Mometasone

These can be found in a range of products available at your local pharmacy.

If the pollen count is low or moderate you may be able to rely on the following medicines:

Oral antihistamines

  • Cetirizine
  • Loratadine
  • Fexofenadine
  • Desloratadine

Eye drops

  • Artificial tears
  • Sodium cromoglicate
  • Azelastine
  • Epinastine
  • Ketotifen
  • Nedocromil sodium
  • Olopatadine

The high street health and beauty store further advises: “Try to keep an eye on the pollen count in your area and note your symptoms to figure out how you will react to different levels of pollen.

“If you can predict how you will react to the pollen count over the next few days, you can take precautions or medicines to control your symptoms.”

Many hay fever sufferers resort to remedies such as putting sticky balm under their nose and eating local honey.

But according to Dr Emberlin, using sticky balms on your nose and eating local honey are two hay fever myths. 

Steering clear of certain flowers, shrubs and trees could also help hay fever symptoms.

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