The Truth About Whether Alcohol Can Help Hay Fever

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A few days ago we came across reports that suggested one alcoholic drink in particular may help for those suffering with the symptoms of hay fever.

It was believed that the popular drink, Gin and Tonic, could help ease the sneezing, sore throats and those itchy eyes.

If you’re a sufferer, like me, it was music to our ears as hay fever has got to be the WORST thing about summer – that and sunburn!

Well it turns out that having a few cheeky G&T’s for medicinal purposes isn’t that beneficial after all.

Experts initially said that drinking clear spirits – like Gin – could help in reducing symptoms.

They also said that wine and beer should be avoided as they can increase the symptoms.

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However Asthma UK have quashed those rumors saying it can actually increase a persons suffering.

Speaking to the Huffington Post, Asthma UK said:

Alcohol can actually increase sensitivity to pollen, so our advice is that it may be worth avoiding it when the pollen count is high.

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Hay fever is extremely common in the UK and is said to affect roughly one in five people.

It’s also closely linked to asthma, with 80% of those with asthma saying they have a pollen allergy too.

The link between the two health problems is where the suggestion reportedly started.

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Dr Andy Whittamore, the in-house GP for Asthma UK was quoted as suggesting that some types of alcohol can trigger asthma and then others made the link with hay fever too.

Dr Whittamore said:

Alcoholic drinks contain histamine, which is found at particularly high levels in red wine and some beers.

Histamine is the same substance that is released in the body when you have an allergic reaction and in some people, may trigger asthma symptoms.

You should avoid these drinks if you know they are a trigger for you.

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He continued:

No matter what your tipple of choice, drink according to recommended safe limits and continue to carry your reliever inhaler with you.

Great – anybody want to buy a crate of gin from me?

If you’re going to try the G&T option regardless, remember to drink responsibly – replacing sneezing and red eyes with slurred speech and a drunken stupor isn’t exactly a like-for-like swap.


Anne-Marie Bojan

Anne-Marie Bojan

A sports enthusiast with a BA (Hons) in Sports Journalism, who can be found predominantly at Villa Park. Having completed a Masters in Broadcast Journalism, she then went on to work at Sky Sports, the BBC, and the Mirror. When not engrossed in sport, it's animals, guitars, and Liam Gallagher which take main focus.