With hay fever season upon us, it’s important to know how to manage your symptoms and where to seek advice.
As the weather warms up this spring, many of us are looking forward to spending more time outdoors. However, for those with hay fever, spring and summer can be a difficult time of year.
NHS Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care Board - which organises health services for the region - is urging anyone who suffers from hay fever to get prepared and take steps to manage their symptoms, and to seek advice from their local pharmacy.
Andrew White, chief pharmacist for NHS Lancashire and South Cumbria ICB, said: "One in five people suffer from hay fever and for some it can be really severe. Over-the-counter medications such as antihistamine tablets, nasal sprays, or eye drops can be very effective at relieving symptoms.
“Pharmacists are highly-trained healthcare professionals who can provide expert advice, support and recommend the best treatment for you.
“You should also take other steps to prevent symptoms, such as avoiding exposure to pollen by staying indoors as much as possible on high pollen count days and wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes. I’d also advise putting Vaseline around your nostrils to trap pollen and showering and changing clothes after spending time outdoors to remove any pollen that may have accumulated on the skin or clothing.
“It is difficult to avoid pollen, but try not to cut or walk on grass, don’t keep fresh flowers in the house and don’t smoke or be around smoke as these can make your symptoms worse.”
Hay fever is a common allergy that is triggered by pollen from plants such as trees, grasses, and weeds.
Different types of pollen can cause hay fever at different times of the year. Tree pollen is usually released between late March and mid-May, grass pollen between mid-May and July, and weed pollen between the end of June and September. Symptoms can include itchy eyes, sneezing, a runny or blocked nose, and a cough. Although there is no cure for hay fever, there are many treatments available at your local pharmacy to help manage the symptoms.
If you're experiencing hay fever symptoms, don't suffer in silence. Visit your local pharmacy for advice and support.