If you suffer from hay fever, then it's important to work with an allergist who can prescribe medications to keep your symptoms under control. However, you may still have some lingering sneezing and itchiness even when taking your medications. To help alleviate these residual symptoms and keep yourself comfortable, try using one or more of these home remedies.
Try adding a couple of drops of eucalyptus oil to a hot bath and then lowering yourself in. The scented steam will help clear out your nasal passages, flushing out any pollen and helping to ease your symptoms. It will also cool and soothe the mucous membranes around your eyes and nose. (Don't put the mixture directly in your eyes, nose, or mouth. Just let the steam come up from the bath and soothe you.)
If your eyes feel overly swollen and irritated, place some ice cubes in a bag and then wrap it in a thick wash cloth. Hold this ice pack against your eyes. The gentle cold will help reduce inflammation, which should make you more comfortable. Do not apply the ice pack without the cloth wrapped around it -- you don't want to expose the sensitive skin around your eyes to too much cold.
A neti pot is a ceramic, tea-pot–like device that is used to rinse out the nasal passages. They're sold at most pharmacies, and you may even find one at your local grocery store, as they're becoming increasingly popular.
Fill a net pot with distilled water. (Do not use water from the tap, as this increases your risk of infection.) Turn your head sideways over the sink. Using the neti pot, pour water into the top nostril and let it flow out the bottom nostril. This will rinse out your nasal passages, clearing away the pollen and mucus.
Brew yourself a cup of loose-leaf green tea, and sit down to sip it slowly. The steam from the tea will help soothe your irritated eyes and nose. Plus, the antioxidants in green tea are said to help boost the immune system. This may help fend off allergy symptoms throughout the season. For best results, use fresh, high-quality green tea from a health food store rather than overly processed, bagged green tea.
To learn more about keeping yourself comfortable during hay fever season, speak to an allergist or ENT at a clinic like the Mid America Ear, Nose, & Throat Clinic PC in your area.