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Be ready to deal with hay fever; ADVERTISING FEATURE.

WE'RE suffering unseasonal weather, but the days are getting longer and that means the hay fever season is about to kick off. According to the National Pollen and Aerobiology Research Unit, the main tree pollen season (birch pollen) is expected to start this month in Wales, followed by pollen from grass and other trees.

For around a quarter of us, that means sneezing, itchy nose and throat, streaming eyes and nasal congestion.

There's no need to suffer, however, as there are a wide range of products to treat hay fever symptoms, some available over the counter from retailers, and others only from a pharmacist.

For mild symptoms such as sneezing and an itchy, runny nose, the best option is a long-acting non-sedating antihistamine. These generally begin working within an hour and are available over the counter. Other antihistamines can have a sedating effect in some people, and while they work well they should not be used when driving or operating machinery. If you are unsure which product to choose, a pharmacist can advise on which one would suit you best.

If hay fever mainly affects your eyes, antihistamine eye drops are available from a pharmacist. If you suffer with nasal congestion, pharmacists can provide steroid nasal sprays, as well as strong oral and nasal decongestants.

It's important to be aware that antihistamines can interact with other medicines such as anti-depressants, so if you're being treated for other conditions check first with your pharmacist to ensure you choose the most appropriate product.

For acute symptoms, some Welsh pharmacies can provide a one-off prescription free of charge without an appointment under the minor ailments scheme. The pharmacist will then refer the patient to their GP for any further treatments. | For further information on hay fever and a range of other health topics visit the Mayberry Pharmacy website at www.mayberrypharmacy.co.uk or call in at one of our seven pharmacies

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You can get expert advice at Mayberry
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Apr 8, 2013
Words:328
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