Allergies: How To Ease Your Hay Fever Symptoms

Along with the recent burst of sunshine, there has been an increase in people asking for help with their itching eyes and streaming noses.

This isn't some flu epidemic - if you are one of the UK's 16 million hay fever sufferers, you'll know exactly what we mean.

The key, Lindsey McManus, Deputy Chief Executive for Allergy UK says, is to be prepared. Talking to the HuffPost UK, she said: "Make sure you're taking the right medications, and take them regularly. Don't wait until you start sneezing.

"Invest in a good pair of wraparound sunglasses, smear of nasal balm along your nose and make sure you wash your hair and change your clothes before you go into your bedroom so you aren’t sleeping in the pollen you've collected through the day. Another tip is to not hang your washing out at dawn and dusk, because that's when pollen counts are at their highest."

Citydwellers aren't immune either, in fact, we're equally prone because pollen is carried in diesel fumes.

If it isn't managed properly, hayfever can interfere with your sleep and concentration.

Here are five top tips to stay on top of it:

1.Netdoctor reported that 72% of hay fever sufferers would like a natural alternative to taking pills. Whatever your thoughts are on homeopathy, the sites recommends the Vogel Luffa Complex spray, which harnesses seven anti-allergy herbs.

2. Think of sea salt nasal spray as having a part of the sea up your nose. It's a brilliant decongestant and can be prescribed on the NHS. Sterimaris a top brand and can also be used for bad or chronic snorers.

3. Once you stop sneezing, you might be beating your head against the wall that you have to contend with hay fever yet again, with no end in sight. But a possible 'cure' being touted is immunotherapy, which works by desensitising the body to allergies over time. This is administered most commonly by injection. It's expensive, and you'll only be able to get it on the NHS if you get referred. It usually only applies to severe hayfever or people with hayfever and other allergies.

4. The best form of daily treatment is to combine a spray with an antihistamine tablet. Antihistamines work by blocking the chemical histamine, which is released by the body when it thinks it's under attack, and sprays have an anti-inflammatory effect.

5. A study in February indicated that acupuncture might be a good way to treat hay fever, particularly for those who don't like or agree with antihistamine tablets.

Read on for the best foods to fight allergies:

Allergy Fighting Foods