For those who suffer with hay fever, summer can be a miserable time.

Hay fever is caused by an allergy to pollens and the effects of hay fever can range from being quite mild, to having serious effects on your normal daily life. Common symptoms include a runny, itchy or blocked nose, sneezing and itchy, red, swollen, watery eyes.  If you have asthma, you might also have a tight feeling in your chest, be short of breath and wheeze and cough.

Hay fever is usually worse between late March and September, especially when it’s warm, humid and windy. This is when the pollen count is at its highest.

Dr Steve Ollerton, Chair, NHS Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and local GP said: “The best way to control hay fever is with antihistamines. Antihistamines are available from your pharmacy and if you’ve any questions remember your pharmacist can help you, particularly if you’re already taking medication.”

Antihistamines are medicines also used to relieve symptoms of allergies, such as hives, conjunctivitis and reactions to insect bites or stings.

Speak to your pharmacist if you have hay fever.  They can give advice and suggest the best treatments, like antihistamine drops, tablets or nasal sprays to help with itchy and watery eyes, sneezing and a blocked nose.

Dr David Kelly, Chair of NHS North Kirklees CCG and local GP said added: “There are some things you can try to help protect yourself including putting Vaseline around your nostrils to trap pollen, wearing wraparound sunglasses to stop pollen getting into your eyes and showering and changing your clothes after you’ve been outside to wash pollen off”.

You can be prepared for the effects of hay fever by listening to your local weather forecast, which will provide updates on the pollen forecast.  You can find out more on the Met Office website https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/warnings-and-advice/seasonal-advice/pollen-forecast  Visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/hay-fever/ for more information about hay fever.