Hayfever health advice from NHS 24

SCOTLAND’S national telehealth and telecare organisation is offering people some helpful tips and advice for managing the symptoms of hay fever and other allergies.

The onset of spring also heralds the start of Hay fever season for many people. To coincide with Allergy UK’s Awareness Week (20th to 26th April), NHS 24 is offering a few simple tips to help minimise the effects of the condition.

During the spring and summer months, NHS 24 receives an increase in calls from people experiencing the symptoms of hayfever – itchy eyes, runny nose, sinus pain and sneezing. Last year, the service received a total of 816 Hay fever-related calls between April and August. Visits to the Hay fever section of the online health information website NHS inform increased by 50% between May and June 2014. In addition, the Hay fever self help guide at www.nhs24.com was visited more than 3,700 times in June last year.

NHS 24 Medical Director Professor George Crooks said: “Hay fever is an allergic reaction to pollen from trees and grass, and can cause irritations of the eyes, nose and throat. The most effective way to control hay fever is to avoid exposure to pollen but this is very difficult to do, particularly during the summer months when you want to spend more time outdoors.

“Avoiding cutting grass, walking in grassy areas, and camping may reduce your exposure to grass pollens. When you are outside, wear sunglasses to stop pollen getting in your eyes and change your clothes and take a shower when you come back inside.

“If you get hay fever symptoms even when taking care, there are a number of over-the-counter medicines available from your local pharmacy. I would also remind people that NHS inform provides a wide range of information on Hay fever and allergies in general.”

For more information on the symptoms and treatments for allergies, visit www.nhsinform.co.uk The NHS 24 Self Help Guide at www.nhs24.com includes information for managing the symptoms of Hay fever at home.

NHS 24 employs a range of specialist clinical staff including call handlers, nurse advisors, pharmacists, mental health advisors, dental nurses and special phoneline advisors within Breathing Space.

NHS 24 provides access to trusted health information and support through a range of different services, including NHS inform, Care Information Scotland, and Smokeline . These services are available to the public via a range of different delivery channels, including the web, telephone and digital TV.

The Scottish Centre for Telehealth and Telecare is part of NHS 24 and leads the way in delivering innovative new technology-based services to the people of Scotland.