Keep hay fever away this summer

The sun is up and so is the pollen. One in five people will suffer from hay fever this summer so the three local NHS clinical commissioning groups (CCGs); Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven, Bradford City and Bradford Districts; are urging local people to know how to manage the condition.

Hay fever is a common condition that is caused by an allergy to pollen and causes sneezing, a runny nose and itchy eyes. Hay fever can develop at any age, although it usually begins in childhood or during teenage years.

There is no cure for hay fever and it can be difficult to avoid pollen as the weather gets warmer, but there are some tips and precautions people can take.

If the symptoms of hay fever are mild people can buy anti-allergy medicine (antihistamines) from pharmacies or shops. These medicines are readily available and can be bought for as little as £1. If in doubt about which medicines are best, people are advised to visit their pharmacist as they give expert advice without the need to book an appointment. Should hay fever symptoms become severe and persistent, people are advised to visit their GP as this could be a sign of an underlying condition.

Hay fever sufferers are recommended to be aware of the pollen count and try to stay inside when it is very high. The pollen forecast for can be found on the Met Office website and is often mentioned in weather reports.

There are other measures people can take to prevent hay fever. These include; wearing wraparound sunglasses outside to avoid pollen getting into the eyes, taking a shower and changing clothes after being outside to stop the spread of pollen, and, taking an anti-allergy medicines before leaving the house.

Dr Himat Thandi, clinical prescribing lead at NHS Bradford Districts CCG said: “GPs see a lot of people for mild hay fever symptoms. One of the best things to do is to buy some anti-allergy tablets which are widely available in pharmacies and shops such as supermarkets throughout the warmer months. It’s really common to suffer from hay fever and there is lots people can do themselves to relieve the symptoms such as using nasal sprays or eye drops.”

Further information about hay fever and how people can stay well over spring and summer can be found on the NHS Choices website – www.nhs.uk