DOCTORS are seeing an increase in the amount of people asking for help after being struck down by hay fever in South Derbyshire.
The area has been badly hit along with the rest of the UK due to record high pollen levels in the past three weeks.
The number of patients visiting their GP with sneezing fits, runny noses and itchy eyes is more than twice last year’s figure according to some reports, with experts laying the blame at a mild winter and a warm spring.
Dr Buk Dhadda, a GP with Gresleydale Health Centre and governing body member of NHS Southern Derbyshire’s clinical commissioning group, said: “I’ve been taken aback by the number of patients I’ve seen with hay fever so far this summer.
“But the good news is that it is possible to control the symptoms of hay fever by taking a few simple steps, even in landlocked counties such as Derbyshire where pollen tends to hang around longer.
“I’d recommend wearing wraparound sunglasses to stop pollen getting in your eyes when you’re outdoors.
“You should remove pollen from your body by changing your clothes and taking a shower after being outdoors.
“It’s also a good idea to try to stay indoors when the pollen count is more than 50, usually in the early evening and when it’s humid or windy. If you live in a tall building, keep windows closed at midday as pollen rises.
“If you are a hay fever sufferer, it’s not a good idea to put washing outside to dry if the count is high as pollen can get trapped in the fibres.
“Hay fever is caused by an allergy to grass or hay pollens, and results from the body over-reacting to a normally harmless substance.
Cells in the lining of the nose, mouth and eyes release a chemical called histamine that triggers cold-like symptoms – including runny nose, watery eyes and repeated sneezing.”