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Don’t let allergies ruin your summer – your pharmacy can help


Streaming eyes, runny nose, can’t catch your breath? No it’s not the latest cinematic weepy but the onset of hay fever season.


The warmer temperatures mean spending more time outside, which usually means feeling brighter, better and fresher. But for some it can be the start of months of misery caused by allergic disorders such as hay fever, asthma and eczema.

Asthma, hay fever and eczema are on the rise and are reported to have trebled in the last 20 years, with one in two of us having one or more allergy before the age of 18.

Hay fever is the most common allergic disorder 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 endless sneezing, streaming eyes, stuffy nose, persistent cough or the intense itchiness caused by hay fever? Well, your local pharmacy can help.

Dr Hugh Porter, Clinical Chair of NHS Nottingham City CCG, said: “Summer can be a difficult time for those suffering from respiratory allergies but there are many over-the-counter remedies that your local pharmacy can offer to help ease the symptoms and get you through the summer months.

“Local pharmacists are fully trained health professionals that 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 such as pollen. Steroid nasal sprays can also help to relieve blocked nose symptoms if they are caused by hay fever, a dust allergy or a pet allergy.”

If you’ve already seen your local pharmacist and are 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 can then review medication options and whether there is the need to offer tests to identify the allergen that is causing the symptoms. NHS 111 can also offer advice 24 hours a day, seven days a week – just dial 111 free of charge from a mobile or landline.

For more information about treating allergies or to find your nearest pharmacy and opening times visit

Published: 1 June 2015