Pollen season is here – pharmacist top tips to managing your symptoms

Are you sneezing, do you have a runny nose, or are your eyes itchy and red? The allergy season has begun and will continue well into autumn. The fastest way to get relief from allergy symptoms are over-the-counter products available at the pharmacy without a prescription. You will generally not need to contact your health station to treat the symptoms.
Allergy season has begun. However, help is available. Photo: Julia Kivelä.
Allergy season has begun. However, help is available. Photo: Julia Kivelä.

Over-the-counter products for allergy treatment contain the same pharmaceutical substance at the same strength as the prescription product. In short-term use, there is no significant difference in cost between over-the-counter and prescription products.

Pharmacies have a wide range of allergy medications which can be bought without a prescription. Not all medicines are suitable for everyone, but fortunately the knowledgeable pharmacy staff will be happy to help you choose a suitable product. Products are also available for children, pregnant women and breastfeeding women.

Self-care of allergic eye symptoms

Eye drops containing an antihistamine are usually recommended as the first treatment for acute allergic eye symptoms such as redness and itching. Locally used eye drops relieving allergic eye symptoms are safe to use. If the drops alone are not enough, a nasal spray can also help relieve eye symptoms. If these treatments do not help, you can also take an antihistamine by mouth.

Self-care of allergic nasal symptoms

A nasal spray is the first recommended treatment for the self-care of allergic nasal symptoms such as rhinitis and congestion. Use the spray regularly and for a long enough period time, as it reaches its peak effects only after 1–2 weeks of use. The most effective sprays are combined cortisone and antihistamine nasal sprays.

Nasal irrigation with a salt water solution may also be used to relieve symptoms of allergic rhinitis alongside other treatment.

Oral medicines

Allergic nose and eye symptoms are primarily treated with nasal sprays and eye drops for allergies. Oral antihistamine tablets are only recommended when other options for relieving symptoms are not available. Several different kinds of antihistamine medications are available at pharmacies.

The pharmacy staff will be happy to help and advise you further.

More information

Pollen allergy(Link leads to external service)(Terveyskirjasto in Finnish)