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Get in control and give hay fever the backseat this bank holiday!

With the spring bank holiday around the corner and the Met Office high pollen count alert, doctors in Blackburn with Darwen and East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are advising hay fever sufferers to stock up on remedies so that high pollen levels don’t spoil days spent out and about.

The Met Office, which produces regular pollen forecasts, has stated: “Millions of hay fever sufferers are being warned over a potentially DEADLY pollen bomb!”

Dr Preeti Shukla, Clinical Lead at NHS Blackburn with Darwen CCG said:

“For many people, the May bank holiday is the first opportunity in months to get out in the fresh air and do something active.

“This is great for your health and wellbeing and we actively encourage it. There’s no need for hay fever sufferers to shut themselves indoors. We are hoping the pollen count warnings issued by the met office will help sufferers get in control of their condition so that they enjoy the long weekend.”

The NHS advice is to visit your local pharmacist, who can provide your usual treatments and also advise on newly developed ones that might suit your symptoms better. He or she can also suggest sensible precautions you can take to reduce symptoms, such as:

  • take anti histamines (as directed)
  • put Vaseline around your nostrils to trap pollen
  • wear wraparound sunglasses to stop pollen getting into your eyes
  • shower and change your clothes after you've been outside to wash pollen off
  • not drying washing outside when pollen levels are high

Your local pharmacy is also the best place to re-stock your home medicine cabinet with treatments for other minor ailments that might develop over the holiday weekend. These include:

  • plasters for cuts and scrapes
  • antiseptic wipes and creams
  • painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen – and Calpol or ibuprofen suspensions for youngsters
  • remedies for diarrhoea or constipation.

Your local pharmacist can help you select the items you need. Please don’t go to your GP practice for these items as your doctor will not order these on prescription.

For further information, please visit: https://www.nhs.uk/ or call NHS 111 for help from specialist advisers who can direct you to the right place.