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Probably the most common treatment is an anti-histamine, a medicine that blocks the release of histamine (which causes the symptoms). The new generation of tablets, such as Clarityn and Zirtek, are taken once a day and won't cause drowsiness, which is a problem with older anti-histamines.

For more severe symptoms there's a nasal spray. You use it twice a day for around six weeks. It's better if it can be started a little before the onset of high pollen season, so around now is a good time.

Severe sufferers can avail of a preventative injection administered at the beginning of the year. You need to be organised though and get the jab early before exposure to pollen.


Acupuncture is also used to treat hay fever. The Acupuncture Council of Ireland website has a list of practitioners and lots of information on what's involved in a session and how to select a good acupuncturist. If you want to give it a try go to www.acupuncturecouncil.ie