Simple non-pharmacological and avoidance measures do help. For example, a simple saline (salt water) nasal douche or lavage is effective. Saline and sea water nose sprays (Sterimar) help flush pollen grains off the nasal mucosal and improve nasal patency. While a little Vaseline applied to the lower nostrils on cotton bud is both soothing and protective. Wrap-around sunglasses are helpful and occasionally a face and nose mask may be necessary. Monitoring of pollen forecasts and remaining indoors during mid morning and early evening (when pollen counts peak) will help. Taking an immediate shower and change of clothing after extended outdoor exposure will reduce pollen levels transferred indoors. Additional prophylactic medication may need to be taken on days when pollen counts are excessively high. When travelling by car, be sure to close the windows and put on the air conditioner to filter out pollen. Special pollen arresting filters and ionisers in the home are expensive and often ineffective.
Steroid nasal sprays rarely cause side-effects. This is because they are applied directly to the nose and very little of this medicine is absorbed into the body. Therefore, they are much less likely to cause side-effects in other parts of the body. Occasionally, they cause dryness, crusting, and bleeding of the nose. If this occurs, stop it for a few days and then restart. There have been reports of nasal steroids possibly having an effect on behaviour, particularly in children. This is thought to be rare. However, a few people have reported hyperactivity, problems sleeping, anxiety, depression, and aggression.