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Hay fever fatigue

What you need to know

1 mins

The weather hots up. Your allergies kick in. Unfair doesn’t even cover it. Hay fever is an allergic reaction to pollen and, according to our recent study with Allergy UK, nearly half (49%) of us suffer from hay fever symptoms. You know the score:

But did you know hay fever can make you tired, too? No one wants to feel drowsy or have brain fog, yet allergies can do just that. So, what causes hay fever fatigue, and how can we manage it?

Does hay fever make you tired?

Your hay fever symptoms can leave you exhausted – particularly if you suffer badly. We call this hay fever fatigue, which can cause you to feel:

  • Excessively tired
  • Drowsy
  • Brain fog

Add to that disturbed sleep (symptoms are often worse at night ) and you’ll be feeling like a sleep-derived snot zombie during the day. Hay fever tiredness is not fun.

What is hay fever fatigue?

Hay fever fatigue is part of your body’s physical reaction to allergens – in this case, pollen. Like how you fight a cold or virus, your immune system kicks in. Our bodies combat hay fever with antibodies, which produce histamine. The combination of these reactions can cause:

  • Inflammation
  • Congestion
  • Narrowed airways

Chronic inflammation from ongoing hay fever symptoms is the main culprit behind hay fever fatigue and brain fog. Inflammation can also reduce the amount of oxygen you breathe in, leaving you fuzzy headed and struggling to concentrate. Not great, whether you’re working, studying or even exercising.

And then there’s your itchy eyes and nose. Like picking that spot, it’s so hard to resist temptation and not rub them. The bad news is it’ll worsen your hay fever tiredness.

How can you deal with hay fever fatigue?

Hay fever fatigue sucks. But you can stop it ruling your life. Finding out the cause of your allergies mean you can better avoid it. You can also be ready by recognising your main hay fever aggravators and stocking up on allergy relief products.

Understand your allergies

Different types of pollen affect different people. Once you know what triggers your allergies, you can take back control. You’ll know what to avoid and when, limiting your exposure, symptoms, and hay fever fatigue. Take our allergy quiz and see what’s turning you into an itchy-eyed, snotty mess.

Avoid high pollen

No, you’re not admitting defeat. Sometimes, prevention is the best cure. Perhaps grass is your allergy enemy, or the dreaded birch tree. Once you know what kicks off your allergies, you can steer clear of it by staying inside when that pollen count is high. Find out the pollen forecast in your area, so you know when to stay in and when you can go out-out.

Take medication

Medication can help treat allergy symptoms and hay fever fatigue. Pick up over-the-counter antihistamines, eye drops and nasal sprays to reduce inflammation. Some treatments can make you drowsy, so talk to your doctor or pharmacist about possible side effects.

Tweak your sleep routine

Like putting up a Pollen Keep Out sign on your bedroom door, these tips will help you sleep easier while suffering from hay fever.

  • Close doors and windows at night
  • Remove outdoor clothes from your bedroom
  • Take a shower before bed
  • Wash bed sheets weekly
  • Use an air purifier

Beyond pollen-busting your bedroom, if your hay fever fatigue is getting you down then go further to ensure quality shut-eye. The best way? Put down that phone, laptop or tablet. Reducing your screentime before bed will get you feeling sleepier quicker.

Shower before bed

No one wants to become a hay fever hermit. If you’ve been out enjoying the sunshine and warm weather, pollen in the air can cling to your hair, skin and clothes. Take a shower before you jump under the sheets and wash that pesky pollen down the plughole.

Managing your hay fever can be a drag, but there are many ways to help your hay fever fatigue. Arm yourself with plenty of tissues to tackle snot and irritation on the go. Stay one step ahead of high pollen levels and check out the pollen forecast near you with Your Pollen Pal.


How do you overcome fatigue from allergies?

Allergy-related irritation can leave you, well, irritated. Calm inflammation by keeping hay fever medication such as antihistamines to hand. Keep windows closed indoors, and shower after being outside.

What does fatigue from allergies feel like?

Hay fever fatigue is often described as a hazy, over-tired feeling or brain fog. You’ll find it difficult to concentrate and, understandably, you’ll end up frustrated.

Why does hay fever make you tired?

Yawning your head off? Hay fever symptoms such as headache and congestion can make sleeping difficult. Allergies can also trigger an immune response, where your body releases chemicals that bring on tiredness.


The content should not substitute medical advice from your personal healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider for recommendations/diagnosis or treatment

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