Spring allergies: What you need to know


Springtime brings longer days and blooming flowers, but for many people, it also marks the start of allergy season.


Pollen from trees such as alder, birch, and oak is a common airborne allergen during this time, leading to symptoms like sneezing and itchy eyes. Grass and weed pollen further contribute to these seasonal allergies.


Up to 44% of British adults are affected by at least one allergy, with nearly half experiencing hay fever symptoms.

Relief for most allergy sufferers is found in over-the-counter medications, including antihistamines, nasal sprays, and eye drops. Your local community pharmacist should be your first point of contact; they are well-equipped to help you in choosing the right medication to ease your symptoms. The NHS Pharmacy First service enables you to receive consultations and certain medications directly from pharmacies for common conditions such as allergies, without needing to see a GP.

To find your local pharmacy, please visit the NHS pharmacy finder

It’s important to know when to seek further help. If your allergy symptoms persist despite over-the-counter treatments, consider speaking to a clinician. For urgent situations, NHS 111 can provide advice, and in the case of severe reactions like breathing difficulties or swelling in your mouth or throat, call 999 immediately.

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Published: Apr 17, 2024