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Don’t let allergies take the spring out of your step – your pharmacy can help!

So to tie-in with Allergy Awareness Week (25 April – 1 May) the NHS is explaining what those that suffer can do to help themselves.

It is estimated that 21 million adults in the UK suffer from at least one allergy, while asthma, rhinitis and eczema have trebled in the last 20 years.

Hay fever is one of the most common allergies 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 Chris Clayton, Clinical Chief Officer at NHS Blackburn with Darwen CCG, said: “This time of year can be difficult for those suffering from allergies. But these days, there are so many over the counter remedies available at pharmacies to help ease the symptoms. It is essential though that older people seek help as soon as possible to prevent a trip to hospital if their condition gets worse. And the earlier the better is the approach to take.”

Dr Phil Huxley, Chair at NHS East Lancashire CCG, said: “Pharmacists are fully trained health professionals and can offer advice on many conditions and remedies. They should always be your first port of call. If you’ve already seen your local pharmacist and you’re still struggling with persistent symptoms, then contact your GP practice. But you can help them by listing the symptoms — when they happen, how often they occur and if anything specific seems to trigger them. Your GP may then offer advice on identifying the allergen that is causing the symptoms.”

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