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Don’t let hay fever stop you in your tracks

25 April 2017


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NHS Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (BCCG) is advising residents who are affected by hay fever to take special care during the coming months. Coinciding with National Allergy Awareness Week, the health organisation that commission’s healthcare for the population of Bedfordshire has put together some handy tips to reduce the effects of hay fever.

It is that time of year when most of us start to enjoy the sunshine, barbeques, and music festivals. It is also the time of year when many of us will be constantly irritated by our itchy nose and sneezing fits from hay fever.

Although it seems hay fever is more common in the summer, the allergy, in fact, can affect people all year round. It's estimated that there are more than 10 million people with hay fever (the medical term is ‘allergic rhinitis)’ in England.

You can get hay fever at any age, although it usually begins in childhood or during the teenage years. In the UK, hay fever is mainly caused by grass pollen, around 95% of hay fever sufferers are allergic to grass pollen.

There are some simple ways people can avoid hay fever triggers;

•           Keep house and car windows closed, especially when the pollen count is high (early morning between 7am to 9am and evenings between 5pm and 7pm).

•           Use petroleum jelly inside your nose to block inhalation of pollen.

•           Avoid large grassy areas, woodland, cutting the grass, pollutants and car fumes.

•           Wear wrap-around sunglasses.

•           After you have been outside wash your hands, face, hair, rinse your eyes and change your clothes.

•           If possible stay indoors when the pollen count is high.

•           Keep your house clean and wear a mask and glasses when doing house work.

•           To avoid pollen sticking to your clothes don’t dry washing outside.

•           You could buy a pollen filter for your car air vents.

Head of Medicines Management at BCCG, Fiona Garnett says, “Pharmacists and supermarkets are well placed and easily accessible for advice on hay fever management and product selection. Your local pharmacist or supermarket can also give you friendly, expert advice on self-care and where appropriate over-the-counter medicines that can help with lots of common illnesses and minor ailments”.

For further information and how to have a healthy summer visit the NHS BCCG website on www.bedfordshireccg.nhs.uk or for information on Hay fever visit NHS Choices on http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Hay-fever/Pages/Introduction.aspx 

Notes to editors

·         Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group is responsible for planning, organising and buying NHS-funded healthcare for the 441,000 people who live in Bedfordshire. This includes hospital, community health and mental health services.

·         BCCG is run by GPs, nurses, hospital doctors and other clinicians – the people you see whenever you come into contact with the NHS. All 55 GP practices in Bedfordshire are members of the CCG which is divided into five areas, which we call localities. These are: Bedford, Chiltern Vale, Leighton Buzzard, Ivel Valley and West Mid Bedfordshire and all of the 55 GP practices in Bedfordshire are members.

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