Are you hay fever ready?

With the arrival of warmer days, many of us will be looking forward to spending more time outdoors, either in our gardens or local parks. But this time of year also sees the arrival of hay fever – with symptoms including runny eyes and nose; sneezing and itchiness.

Dr Richard Sandford-Hill, GP at Market Lavington Surgery advises what to do if you are experiencing symptoms:
“The symptoms of hay fever can be really unpleasant and the best way to control it is with antihistamines, which are inexpensive and can be bought from many shops and pharmacies on the high street.

You do not need a prescription from your GP for antihistamines and by taking them now so they get into your system will be really beneficial in reducing the effects of hay fever.”

Other ways to help reduce the effects of hay fever include:

  • Wearing wraparound sun glasses when outdoors to protect the eyes
  • Showering and changing your clothes after being outdoors will help stop the spread of pollen through your home
  • Putting a small amount of petroleum jelly in your nose helps to trap pollen grains
  • Keeping an eye on the weather forecasts and staying indoors to avoid going out when the pollen count is high
Dr Sandford-Hill continues:
“If you have any questions about hay fever medication, remember that your local pharmacist can help you understand which is best for you – particularly if you are already on medication. If the pharmacist feels that you need to see a GP, they will recommend this.”

Hay fever affects one in five people at some point in their lives, often developing in childhood and more so in those with a family history of asthma or eczema. Most people report their symptoms improving as they get older with up to 20 percent saying their symptoms have gone away completely over the years.

As well as your pharmacist, you can also get health advice through NHS 111 and the NHS choices website.