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How do I know if my symptoms are caused by an allergy to pollen and to which type?
One way you can check if you are suffering from seasonal allergies is by keeping a diary of your symptoms, including information relating to your activities that day - what, when and where – along with information about other factors, for example, exposure to any pets or house dust.
You can check the regional pollen count on the Met Office website, where you can also view a five-day forecast, enabling you to build up a clearer picture of what may be triggering your symptoms.
What treatments are available?
Most people are able to manage their hay fever symptoms with a combination of over the counter anti-histamine tablets, nasal sprays and eye drops. It may also be helpful to keep doors and windows closed on days when the pollen count is high, and some people find drying laundry indoors as opposed to on a washing line helps to keep exposure to pollen via clothing to a minimum.
Many sufferers find working in an air-conditioned environment to be a godsend during hay fever season, but this may not be an option depending on your occupation or lifestyle.
When should I seek medical help?
For those who experience severe hay fever symptoms that don’t respond appropriately to over the counter medication, stronger prescription-only medications may be required from a GP.
If you are ever unsure about any rapidly worsening allergy symptoms or are experiencing out of the ordinary reactions, you can seek further advice from a pharmacist or NHS 111, or call 999 if it is felt to be an emergency.
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