Get Ready for Hay Fever Season Urge Health Chiefs

14 June 2019 4:37pm

Preparation is key for hay fever season says Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which has issued a set of tips for tackling symptoms along with information on where to find help.

According to the CCG, it is not always necessary to see a GP if you have hay fever symptoms, you can access treatment from your pharmacy without the need for a prescription. Help is always at hand via the NHS website plus local pharmacists are available for quick, free advice for people unsure whether they are suffering from hay fever symptoms. No appointment is necessary.

In the UK, the hay fever season starts from late March until September with three different pollens active throughout this time. Tree pollen occurs first, then grass (which most are allergic to) and then weed pollen. Dependent upon where you live in the UK, the hay fever season will start at different times.

Top tips shared by the CCG for staying sneeze-free this summer include:

Visit your pharmacist: Pharmacists can help if you are unsure whether you have hay fever and give advice on how to treat your symptoms over-the-counter without the need for a prescription.

Call NHS 111: NHS 111 is free to call from any landline or mobile and is open 24/7. Advisors are able to direct you to the help and care you need, including whether you need to see a doctor or where your nearest pharmacy is located.

Visit the NHS website: For articles, videos and apps, the NHS website is available to help you make the best choices in relation to your health and wellbeing and on how to manage your hay fever symptoms. (www.nhs.uk/conditions/hay-fever)

Protect eyes and nose: Wearing wraparound sunglasses can reduce the amount of pollen reaching your eyes, plus a small amount of petroleum jelly around your nose can help reduce the amount of pollen you breathe in.

Reduce your exposure: Be aware of local pollen counts in your area. They are usually higher in the early morning and from late afternoon, so try the middle of the day for an outdoor adventure. To check the pollen count in your area, the Met Office provides up-to-date information on the pollen forecast for five days ahead: www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/warnings-and-advice/seasonal-advice/pollen-forecast

Dr Julian Povey, Chair of Shropshire CCG, said: “There is plenty of help available for people with hay fever and over-the-counter medicines can be bought from pharmacists, supermarkets and local retailers. If you are unsure whether you need to see a doctor, you can ask your local pharmacist for their advice. 

“A lot of people still visit their GP for advice on conditions such as hay fever. However it’s far better to ask your local pharmacist if you’re not sure what treatment is suitable for the symptoms you have. Pharmacists provide free help and advice and you don’t need to book an appointment.”