Ten of the best hay fever remedies
Hay fever is the most common form of allergy, affecting up to 25 per cent of the population. Airborne allergies make summer a misery for at least 15 million people in the UK and are increasing at a rate of five per cent each year
'Allergic rhinitis', as it is also known, is now classified as a 'major chronic respiratory
disease'. Its increase is hotly debated, but air pollution, especially the minute hydrocarbon particles from diesel engine exhausts, is thought to be a prime cause. Global warming, which means that summer starts earlier and may end later, may be another factor.
A variety of hay fever treatments are available on the market. We look at ten of the best - both conventional and alternative - to help you choose the right one:
1. Flixonase Allergy Nasal Spray (£6.99/60 sprays) from pharmacies nationwide
A recent review suggested that nasal corticosteroid sprays, which have revolutionised hay
fever treatment, offer better relief of symptoms than oral antihistamines, and that using
both together does not provide additional benefit compared with using nasal corticosteroids
alone. There is no clear evidence to suggest one nasal corticosteroid spray is more
effective than another - all have a similar potential for causing nosebleeds. Some sprays
are significantly more expensive, so it's worth trying the cheaper ones first. Apply two
sprays per nostril per day, preferably in the morning, increasing to a maximum of twice
daily use if required. Once control of symptoms is achieved, reduce down to just one spray
per nostril per day. Do not use for more than three months.
2. Viva HealthZone Air Purifier (£69.99).
This air purifier quickly clears pollen, dust and other potential allergens from the air. It
works on the root cause of hay fever and other allergies, thus reducing your need for
medication. The dual turbo fan draws air into the purifier and subjects it to four purifying
processes; a washable pre-filter removes large pollutant particles, a HEPA filter removes up
to 98 per cent of sub-micron particles, a carbon filter absorbs unpleasant odours, while the
integral ioniser refreshes the air and helps it feel cleaner.
3. Nasaleze Natural Hay fever and Allergy Protection (£7.99).
Nasaleze is a nasal powder that lines the nasal passages and sinuses to enhance the
production of nasal mucus. This forms an invisible, gel-like filter over the lining of nasal
passages that helps stop pollen triggering an allergic reaction. Squeeze and sniff the
bottle to inhale the inert cellulose nasal powder. In most cases, hay fever symptoms are
controlled within three to ten seconds and works for up to 24 hours.