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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 and more time outside usually means feeling brighter, better and fresher. But for some it can be the start of months of misery caused by allergies, such as asthma, hay fever 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 allergy 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 intense itchiness caused by eczema? Well, your local pharmacy can help.

Dr Gavin Ralston, Chair of Birmingham CrossCity Clinical Commissioning Group and a local GP said: "Summer can be often be a difficult time for those suffering from respiratory allergies, but fortunately there are many effective over-the-counter remedies that your local pharmacy can offer to help ease the symptoms and enable you get 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 medicines work by blocking the action of the chemical histamine, which the body releases when it thinks it is under attack from an allergens such as pollen. Decongestants can also help to relieve a blocked nose, which is often caused by hay fever, a dust or pet allergy, but are best only used for a short period of time."

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. NHS 111 can also offer advice 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All the caller has to do is dial 111 to talk to the NHS.

To find your nearest pharmacy in Birmingham visit http://www.nhs.uk/ and put your postcode in search box, along with the service you need.

For more information about treating allergies, visit www.nhs.uk

ENDS

Hay fever can be managed by a trip to the pharmacy

Picture caption: Your local pharmacy can help to manage your allergies.

Notes to editors

• For more information about allergies, visit http://www.nhs.uk/

• Visit www.nhs.uk to find your nearest GP, walk-in centre or pharmacy, or get health information.

• For further information, please e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Statistics from Allergy UK - http://www.allergyuk.org/allergy-statistics/allergy-statistics

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