Don't let allergies take the spring out of your step

Spring is the time of year that can really put a smile on your face. But as the temperature warms up, so does the risk of allergies such as hay fever.

It is estimated that 21 million adults in the UK suffer from at least one allergy, while asthma, rhinitis and eczema have trebled in the last 20 years.

Hay fever is one of the most common allergies 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 the endless sneezing, coughing, itchy eyes, and runny nose that are symptomatic of hay fever? While you can check the daily pollen forecast on the Met Office website, it isn’t always possible to stay indoors avoiding grassy areas when the pollen count is high.

So if you are suffering with summer time allergies speak to your local pharmacist for advice.

Lisa Allen, chief nurse at Basildon and Brentwood Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “This time of the year can be difficult for those suffering from allergies. But there are many over-the-counter remedies that your local pharmacy can offer to help ease the symptoms.

“Local pharmacists are fully trained health professionals who can offer advice on many over the counter medicines, such as antihistamines. These block the action of the chemical histamine, which the body releases when it thinks it is under attack from an allergen. Decongestants can also help to relieve a blocked nose, which is often caused by hay fever, a dust allergy or a pet allergy.

“If you’ve already seen your local pharmacist and you’re still struggling with persistent symptoms, help your GP by listing the symptoms - when they happen, how often they occur and if anything specific seems to trigger them.

“Your GP may then offer tests to identify the allergen that is causing the symptoms.”

Find more information about treating allergies here