Allergy Awareness Week begins as hayfever sufferers set to face brutal summer
29th April 2014
allergyAs we are into the second day of Allergy Awareness Week – proudly supported by Medical Specialists™ Pharmacy - New research has shown that hayfever rates have soared to record levels and could get much worse in the future. Britain is set to experience one of the most severe summers in recent years according to weather analysts, and charity Allergy UK who are running the awareness week that runs to 4 May, say that nearly a third of the population are now suffering with hayfever. Hayfever symptoms are caused by an inhalation of pollen particles and by pollen getting into the eyes. Symptoms can flare-up from anywhere between early spring to late summer, depending on which particular pollen(s) you have an allergy to. The common pollens that prove problematic in early spring for hay fever suffers are those that emanate from trees such as the ash, oak, silver birch, and London plane. Medical Specialists™ Pharmacy offer a wide range of medicines  to treat allergies such as hayfever, including Loratadine – a non-drowsy antihistamine which can provide relief from the symptoms of hay fever and Nasonex nasal spray – a nasal corticosteroid spray for the relief of congestion, sneezing, itching and a runny nose. Prevalin is another nasal spray that lines the inside of your nose and actually deactivates the pollen, and Alomide allergy eye drops that can bring relief from red, itchy, watery and puffy eyes if used regularly. If all that isn’t enough, Medical Specialists™ now offer the fantastic NeilMed Sinus Rinse Starter Kit, which is suitable for all ages. This natural soothing saline wash can be used to alleviate many problems such as: Nasal allergies & dryness. Sinusitis, rhinitis. Allergic asthma. Post nasal drip. Sinus pressure & nasal stuffiness. Nasal symptoms from flu & cold. Nasal irritation from occupational dust, fumes, animal dander, grass, pollen, smoke & house dust. Nasal congestion. Professor Jean Emberlin, scientific director for Allergy UK, commented: “We now have one of the highest rates [of hayfever] worldwide.” She says high use of antibiotics in children could be behind a higher risk of allergies in general, with as many as 38% of children now afflicted by hayfever in some areas of the UK. Therefore, this week’s Allergy Awareness Week has arrived at a perfect time and aims to put a spotlight onto the difficulties faced by those who have allergies, what they can do to manage their symptoms, treatment options, with Allergy UK urging as many people as possible to participate and give their support. In the following weeks there will also be several fundraising events taking place. The charity is now encouraging people to assess their medication prior to the grass pollen season beginning at the start of summer. Prof Ember in said: “Early ­indications are that it could be severe. This year the mild winter and warm spring resulted in the birch pollen season starting about four weeks ­earlier than in 2013. “Birch ­pollen counts increased ­rapidly in the last week of March throughout the South and Midlands and the season spread northwards quickly. “About 25 per cent of ­sufferers are allergic to birch pollen and this year has been a severe one for them. “The oak pollen ­season – which affects one in five sufferers – also started earlier this year. "The grass pollen season – which affects about 95 per cent of hayfever sufferers – will start in the last week of May in the South with a fairly long lag time of a few weeks to the North. “Due to the warm spring, the start will be gradual rather than having a sudden increase in grass pollen counts." Maureen Jenkins, director of ­clinical services at Allergy UK, added: “We are urging people to check whether they are using their medication correctly rather than just soldiering on and ­prolonging their suffering. If symptoms aren’t improving with treatment, it’s so important to get medical advice to control this debilitating condition, which is also associated with the development of asthma.”