Don’t let hay fever ruin your day!
Hay fever affects millions of people in the UK and is mainly caused by pollen, and Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group is offering advice on how to minimise the symptoms for people who suffer from the condition.
Many of us will be spending more time outdoors with the arrival of Spring, either in our gardens or local parks, and suffers will soon start to feel the effects of itchy, red or watery eyes, a runny or blocked nose, sneezing fits, an itchy throat, mouth, nose and ears or a cough.
Dr Andrew Girdher, GP at Box Surgery advises: “The best way to control hay fever is with antihistamines and these can easily be bought from local pharmacies or supermarkets very cheaply and starting to take them now so they get into your system will really be of benefit.”
“Visiting a local pharmacy is your best option. You can speak to the pharmacist; who is an expert in medications and can advise you on the best treatment. They can also offer advice on how to avoid hay fever triggers. If the pharmacist feels that the problem is something different which might require a review with a GP, they will recommend this.”
Other ways to help reduce the effects of hay fever include:
- Wearing wraparound sunglasses when outdoors to protect the eyes
- Showering and changing your clothes after being outdoors will help stop the spread of pollen through your home
- Putting a small amount of petroleum jelly in your nose helps to trap pollen grains
- Keeping an eye on the weather forecasts and staying indoors to avoid going out when the pollen count is high
Dr Girdher added: “We are encouraging local residents to self-care and buy this low-cost medication themselves, as you do not need a prescription from your doctor, which can cost the NHS considerably more.”
“Self-care is an important part of keeping well and having a well-stocked medicine cabinet can help people, not just treat hay fever but also treat minor illness and injuries themselves, at home, without the need to see a GP.”
As well as your pharmacist, you can also get health advice through NHS 111 and the NHS choices website – www.nhs.uk
3 before GP
NHS England advice on Over the Counter Medicine for patients
GPs should no longer prescribe over the counter medicines for 35 minor ailments and short-term self-limiting illnesses, NHS England has said.
Guidance from NHS bosses sets out how CCGs should curb prescriptions of OTC medicines for eight self-limiting conditions and 27 minor ailments (see below for the full list), which NHS England says are suitable for self care. The guidance also covers prescribing of probiotics and vitamins and minerals.
The restrictions do not affect prescribing OTC medicines for longer-term or more complex conditions, or where minor illnesses are symptomatic or a side effect of something more serious, NHS England said. OTC medicines can also be prescribed if a patient's ability to self manage a condition is compromised as a result of medical or mental health issues or ’significant social vulnerability’, the guidance says.
GPs can also continue to prescribe OTC medicines if 'in their clinical judgment, exceptional circumstances exist that warrant deviation from the recommendation to self-care.'
|Conditions covered by the guidance|
- Acute sore throat
- Infequent cold sores of the lip
- Coughs, colds and nasal congestion
- Cradle cap (seborrhoeic dermatitis – infants)
- Infant colic
- Mild cystitis
- Mild irritant dermatitis
- Diarrhoea in adults
- Dry eyes/sore tired eyes
- Excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis)
- Head lice
- Indigestion and heartburn
- Infrequent constipation
- Infrequent migraine
- Insect bites and stings
- Mild acne
- Mild dry skin
- Sunburn due to excessive sun exposure
- Sun protection
- Mild to moderate hayfever/seasonal rhinitis
- Minor burns and scalds
- Minor conditions associated with pain, discomfort and fever
- Mouth ulcers
- Nappy rash
- Oral thrush
- Prevention of dental caries
- Ringworm/athlete's foot
- Teething/mild toothache
- Travel sickness
- Warts and verrucae
We are delighted to have been awarded a Gold Standard award as part of the Wiltshire Investors in Carers Scheme. This scheme for Wiltshire has been developed by local Carers, members of voluntary agencies such as Carers Support, a number of GP surgeries and members of NHS Wiltshire and Wiltshire Council. Pictured are Rosie Browne, our Carers Administrator and Tracy Wakeley, Reception Team Leader, receiving their award.