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Don’t let allergies ruin summer: get help from your local pharmacy

05 June 2015

With warmer summer weather and rising temperatures, people enjoy spending more time outdoors enjoying the sunshine. But for some it can be the start of months of misery caused by allergies such as hay fever, asthma and eczema.
Hay fever is the most common allergic disorder and can make everyday life tough, affecting social plans, emotional wellbeing and performance at work or school.
So, what’s the best way to cope with endless sneezing, streaming eyes, stuffy nose, persistent cough or the intense itchiness caused by hay fever? Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Groups (BCCG) is advising people to firstly visit their local pharmacy to get advice and treatment for allergies.
Dr Bruce Ella, Clinical Director with Bedfordshire CCG and a local GP, said:
“Summer can be spoiled for people who suffer from respiratory allergies but there are many over-the-counter remedies that your local pharmacy can offer to help ease the symptoms and get you through the summer months.
“Local pharmacists are fully trained health professionals who can offer advice on many over-the-counter medicines such as antihistamines which can be just as strong as those given on prescription. These block the action of the chemical histamine which the body releases when it thinks it is under attack from an allergen such as pollen. Steroid nasal sprays can also help to relieve blocked nose symptoms if they are caused by hay fever, a dust allergy or a pet allergy.”
If you’ve already seen a pharmacist and are still struggling with persistent symptoms, help your GP by listing the symptoms, saying when they happen, how often they occur and if anything specific seems to trigger them. Your GP can then review medication options and asses the need for an allergy test. NHS 111 can also offer advice 24 hours a day, seven days a week – just dial 111 free of charge from a mobile or landline.
For more information about treating allergies or to find your nearest pharmacy and opening times visit www.nhs.uk.

Katrina Grant 01525 864406/ 01525 864430 or 07813 969786, communications@bedfordshirecg.nhs.uk


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