Hello Hayfever season…!

Monday 24th June 2024 | Physical Health Conditions

It’s arrived…. The Hayfever season! The season in which many of us experience symptoms that keep us awake throughout the night and leave us feeling drained and run-down during the day. We know the symptoms of Hayfever can feel frustrating and we’ve written a blog post which talks about:

  • What Hayfever is and how we can best manage symptoms
  • How Hayfever can make us feel physically unwell, anxious and depressed
  • How to manage the Hayfever season and stay in control


What is Hayfever?

Hayfever is an allergic reaction to pollen (usually grass, weed and tree pollen) and it can start affecting us at any age. Those of us with a respiratory condition (a condition that affects the lungs such as asthma and COPD tend to experience more Hayfever symptoms as the body begins to react with the pollen impacting our lung function).


Symptoms can include:

  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • A blocked or runny nose
  • A scratchy feeling in your throat
  • Headaches
  • Earaches
  • Itchy and watery eyes


For those who may have asthma and/or COPD, Hayfever can also produce symptoms of breathlessness or a tight chest where it might  feel like something is sitting on your chest or the air feels much drier meaning it feels like you can’t breath enough air into your lungs. This can lead to panic attacks which can be extremely frightening.


How can I manage my Hayfever symptoms?

There are a number of things can help to ease the symptoms of Hayfever (unfortunately, we cannot stop our allergic reactions!):

  • If you asthma (using your asthma action plan can help that you develop with your GP or asthma nurse)
  • Carrying your inhaler with you wherever you go (if you have one prescribed)
  • Taking your Hayfever medication as prescribed
  • Keep your windows and doors shut as much as possible
  • When you come back home, shower & change your clothes to remove pollen
  • Wearing sunglasses to help reduce itchy eyes
  • Don’t dry your clothes outside (pollen can get stuck to them!)
  • If appropriate, you can use an eye bath to help refresh your eyes at night
  • Keeping hydrated to help thin mucus and reduce congestion
  • Stress management techniques such as yoga, Pilates, swimming, mindfulness can all help keep your anxiety and stress levels at bay!


If your symptoms worsen and your inhaler is not helping, please contact your GP, visit your local pharmacist or call NHS 111 (by dialling 111). In an emergency, call 999.


I know Hayfever can make me feel physically unwell… but how does it affect my mental health?

Very often, those who experience Hayfever will begin to dread the summer months when the pollen count is much higher in the UK. There becomes a strong feeling of uncertainty and fear of how their bodies might react this year (symptoms can often change year on year… Hayfever likes to keep us on our toes!).

Research has shown that Hayfever can lead to anxiety and depression due to the persistent symptoms of congestion and sneezing. This can lead to us not experiencing good quality sleep due to discomfort and sleep is crucial for our mental health and wellbeing.

Hayfever can also cause to feel frustrated, stressed and lower in mood due to the persistent symptoms. We might just want Hayfever to “just stop”, we might stop doing as much as we don’t feel physically well or we might want to avoid going outside in case our symptoms worsen. This can lead to us becoming isolated and withdrawn which can lead to depression.

Alternatively, we mentioned earlier in our blog post that when we have a respiratory condition (such as asthma or COPD) we can more likely to experience a feeling of breathlessness and/or a tightness in our chest which can lead to anxiety and panic especially if we can’t catch our breath or we’ve had an asthma attack previously. This can be extremely frightening.  If you are experiencing symptoms of an asthma attack we should strongly recommend that you call for emergency help by dialling 999 or asking someone around you to call.


If you’re noticing feeling depressed, anxious or worried or noticing that you’re experiencing frequent panic attacks, please don’t face this alone – we can help and support you with manage this. You can book a free initial telephone appointment with us to talk through what you’re experiencing, and we can discuss how we can help you.


Take a moment to think about how Hayfever is affecting you – what techniques from our last above might help you to manage Hayfever? Are there any that you have tried already?

Take some time to write down what you want to try and give it a go and see how it makes you feel!