An allergy specialist at Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust is encouraging hayfever sufferers to be prepared for a long summer following one of the warmest and driest Aprils’ on record.
Bad news if you’re one of many to suffer from hayfever symptoms including itchy eyes, nose, throat and face; sneezing; tight throat and lethargy.
Clinical nurse specialist in immunology Amena Warner said: “Hay fever is truly unpleasant, and is unfortunately, very common.
“For most people it means itchy eyes and ears, a runny nose, and uncontrollable sneezing. It can also make people feel lethargic and really under the weather.
“For hay fever sufferers, spring and summer can be a miserable time, and instead of being out enjoying the sunshine, people stay inside to avoid their symptoms.
“But hay fever doesn’t have to be the end of summer fun – whether you have mild to moderate symptoms or have a severe case, there are treatments and things you can do to help alleviate it.
“I would urge anyone with hay fever to seek advice from their local pharmacist – you don’t have to suffer in silence. Hay fever can be beaten.
“And even if your hay fever can’t be helped by over-the-counter medicines, we can still do something about it.
“We are one of the few NHS trusts nationally that offers a range of desensitisation therapies – where sufferers are exposed to pollen in a controlled way, so that they become tolerant to it – for people with severe pollen allergy and pollen induced asthma.”
Hay fever occurs when the immune system mistakes pollen for a harmful substance, causing the body’s cells to release histamines – chemicals which inflame the lining of the nose, throat and eyes.