Hay Fever

Allergic Rhinitis

Medically reviewed by Carina Fung, PharmD, BCPPS

Hay fever treatment

Along with antihistamine medication, there are a number of treatments and remedies for hay fever symptoms14.

Oftentimes, allergy symptoms disappear completely when your contact with allergens is eliminated or after the allergy is treated.

Many people use a combination of treatments and medications for their allergies; you can talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist about the combination that will work best for you.

While over-the-counter medication is sufficient in treating many people’s symptoms, prescription medications are sometimes required for treating severe allergies.

Some people’s allergy symptoms cannot be relieved with over-the-counter or prescription medications. These people may sometimes undergo immunotherapy, a long-term treatment that can help prevent or lessen the severity of allergic reactions.

This treatment works by modifying the body’s immune response to allergens. Immunotherapy generally involves a course of allergy shots administered over the course of 3–5 years.

Over-the-counter medications used to treat allergies include:

  • loratadine (generic Claritin)
  • cetirizine (generic Zyrtec)
  • fexofenadine (generic Allegra)
  • triamcinolone (generic Nasacort)
  • budesonide (generic Rhinocort)

Hay fever medicine

There are both over-the-counter and prescription medications that can be used to treat hay fever symptoms.

You should discuss your child’s treatment options with your healthcare provider, as not all medications are approved for use in children. As always, read labels carefully and take all medication as recommended or prescribed.

May be prescribed

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Hay fever remedy

Sometimes, at-home remedies can be useful in treating the symptoms of hay fever.

Some at-home remedies for allergies include:

  • Rinsing your sinuses: Rinsing your sinuses with distilled, sterile saline rinses mucus and allergens from the nose and can relieve congestion. You can use a squeeze bottle or a neti pot—a small container with a spout that goes into the nostril and delivers saline into the nose. In order to prevent potentially serious infection, you should always use water that’s distilled, sterile, previously boiled and cooled, or filtered. You should also rinse the bottle or neti pot after each use with sterile or filtered water and leave it to air-dry.
  • Using sterile saline nasal spray: Sterile nasal sprays, such as Ayr, can similarly irrigate the nose, flush out allergens, and help relieve congestion. If you find using an irrigation device uncomfortable, a nasal spray may be an easier alternative to a squeeze bottle or neti pot.

Is there a hay fever cure?

Unfortunately, there is no cure for hay fever. The best way to prevent severe allergy symptoms13 is to lessen exposure to the allergens that trigger your allergies.

There are, however, a number of ways in which you can prevent or lessen the severity of your allergy symptoms.

Avoid exposure to allergens

You can take these steps to prevent exposing yourself to allergens that may trigger hay fever symptoms:

  • Avoid touching or rubbing your eyes and nose
  • Wash your hands frequently with warm, soapy water (or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when these aren’t available)
  • Keep pets out of the bedroom to reduce pet dander in your bed and clothes
  • Keep windows and doors closed during allergy season
  • Shower and wash clothing after outdoor activity to remove contamination with pollen
  • Avoid the outdoors on dry, windy days (rain helps clear pollen from the air)

Keep your indoor environment clean

  • Wash bed linens and pillowcases in hot water and detergent, or use hypoallergenic pillows and mattress toppers
  • If you are looking into getting a pet, consider a number of hypoallergenic breeds of dogs, cats, and other household pets
  • Use air conditioning in your house and car to help keep air circulating
  • Keep indoor air dry with a dehumidifier
  • Use a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter in high-traffic rooms
  • Clean floors with a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA filter

You can also take proactive steps for treating your allergies, including staying up-to-date on pollen levels and allergy forecasts and taking allergy medications before your symptoms start.

Disclaimer: The information on this site is generalized and is not medical advice. It is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your healthcare professional. Always seek the advice of your healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard seeking advice or delay in seeking treatment because of something you have read on our site. RxSaver makes no warranty as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of this information.

If you are in crisis or you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.