With the warmer weather finally making an appearance, many of us experience hay fever symptoms.

A pollen bomb is expected to peak this week but you might not be aware of all the possible hay fever symptoms.

Pharmacist at Lloyds Pharmacy Online Doctor, Rumeet Patel, has shared five of the surprising symptoms of hay fever.

Hay fever sufferers could be facing weeks of itchy eyes and sneezing, the Met Office has warned.

Great British Life: Rumeet Patel has shared some of the surprising symptoms of hay feverRumeet Patel has shared some of the surprising symptoms of hay fever (Image: LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor)

Spokesman Grahame Madge told the PA news agency: “We are now getting into grass season. With it being so dry across the UK, it means grasses are able to shed pollen.

“For sufferers, hay fever has been a feature of the last few days and will continue to be a feature for sufferers over the next few days and weeks.

“(Sufferers will) only get a respite when the grass has shed all the available pollen or if we get significant rainfall, which will effectively wash the pollen out of the atmosphere.”

5 surprising symptoms of hay fever

Rumeet Patel explained that hay fever affects “approximately 1 in 5 people in the UK”.

Common symptoms of hay fever “include a runny, itchy or blocked nose, sneezing, itchy or watery red eyes, and an itchy throat.”

Hay fever sufferers can experience one or two of these symptoms or have them all.

You can find out more about allergies and how to treat them via the LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor website.

Excessive sweating

Unusual hay fever symptoms include excessive sweating – Patel explains: “Sweating more than usual can be an embarrassing symptom of hay fever. Excessive sweating can be caused by stress, pain or when your immune system is vulnerable - all factors which can occur in hay fever.” 

Loss of smell and taste

A less common symptom of hay fever is loss of smell.

Patel said: “Also known as anosmia, inflammation in the nasal passages can impact our sense of smell. This is the body’s way of limiting the amount of pollen that reaches the nose. 

“As taste and smell are linked, if you experience anosmia, you are also likely to notice some loss of taste too. 

“Of course, a loss or change in your sense of taste or smell is a symptom of COVID-19. Therefore, you should consider testing or staying at home and avoiding contact with others if you also have a high temperature or do not feel well enough to carry out normal activities.”

Headaches and migraines

If you’re suffering from headaches or migraines, this could also be a symptom of hay fever.

Patel explains: “Sinus inflammation can cause a build-up of pressure which results in a sinus headache. This tends to feel as if there is intense pressure inside the head or behind the eyes. 

“The histamines released during a hay fever account can also give rise to migraines.” 

Great British Life: Some hay fever symptoms are more common than othersSome hay fever symptoms are more common than others (Image: LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor)

Face pain

Some people might also experience pain around their cheeks, eyes and forehead.

“When you have hay fever, the small air-filled cavities behind the cheekbones and forehead can become inflamed or blocked. This pressure can cause facial pain”, Patel explains.


Hay fever can make asthma symptoms worse including wheezing and breathlessness.

Patel said: “In fact, some people also find they only experience asthma symptoms during hay fever season.

“People with hay fever are also much more likely to develop asthma.”

How can you treat hay fever?

Lifestyle changes like spending less time outside and allergy treatments can help you relieve the symptoms of hay fever.

Patel added: “However, some people experience such bad hay fever symptoms that it can affect daily activities such as sleep and work. In this case, or if your symptoms get worse or have not improved after 2-4 weeks of taking treatments recommended by a pharmacist, you should see your GP.”