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It’s a hot-spot for hay fever sufferers

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A weekly column by Dr Miles Langdon of South Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group, addressing topical health issues

Our feature writer Jean Hodge arrived at the Spalding Guardian office with her eyes streaming.

The grass was being cut along the river bank and that gets her every time.

Now spring has arrived we’ve noticed a lot of readers sneezing around town, so this week Dr Miles Langdon has written his column on allergies – because now the weather is getting warm we want to be out enjoying it...

Allergy UK says that on average, £900 million is spent on allergy related illnesses annually.

The number of sufferers is increasing every year and as many as half of those affected are children.

Some of the most common allergens include pollen, house dust mites, mould and pets.

An allergy develops when the body’s immune system reacts to an allergen as though it is a threat, like an infection.

It produces antibodies to fight off the allergen, in a reaction called the immune response.

Common allergic disorders include asthma, eczema and one that is particularly rife during this time of year- hay fever.

Symptoms of an allergy can include sneezing, wheezing, coughing and skin rashes, and in more extreme circumstances can lead to anaphylactic shock.

Lincolnshire can be a hot-spot for hay fever sufferers due to the large areas of agricultural space, and with one in four people in the UK suffering from Seasonal Allergy Rhinitis, also known as hay fever, it has been named the most common allergy in the UK.

Sufferers usually find their symptoms flare up between the months of May and July due to release of grass pollen, which is the most common cause of hay fever.

Here in Lincolnshire, we have already experienced a high pollen count due to the extraordinary weather patterns and unfortunately for some, this has meant hay fever symptoms have started to kick in. Sufferers of mild symptoms can ask the advice of their local pharmacist as often over the counter remedies are effective and relatively inexpensive.

For more persistent symptoms and for sufferers of other common allergic conditions like eczema and asthma sufferers should see their GP as they may need regular preventative medication as well as advice about emergency treatment.

For more information about allergies, their symptoms and treatment visit: www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Allergies or you can phone the Allergy UK helpline on 01322 619898.

 

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