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Solve those sniffles with pharmacy advice


Hay fever sufferers are being encouraged to nip their symptoms in the bud and free up GP hours by visiting their local pharmacy.

Pharmacies offer a wide range of over-the-counter medicines which can treat hay fever effectively and don’t need to be prescribed by a doctor. They’re often cheaper than prescription fees too.

By popping in to see your local pharmacist instead of booking an appointment with your GP, you could also be saving the NHS money. For last financial year, Lincolnshire West CCG predicts it has spent almost £160,000 on prescription antihistamines that people could have purchased themselves.    

Pharmacies like Lincolnshire Co-op’s 49 branches do so much more than just dispense prescriptions. They provide a range of other valuable free services such as medicine use reviews and health checks, with no appointment needed.  

Lincolnshire Co-op’s Head of Pharmacy, Alastair Farquhar, said: “There’s no cure for hay fever but most people can tackle their symptoms with over-the-counter medication.  

“Treatments come in many different forms such as tablets, capsules, liquids, nasal sprays and eye drops. Your local pharmacist can recommend the most appropriate medication for you for free.  

“We’re here to care for people’s health and wellbeing and offering free advice to our customers suffering with hay fever is one way we try and make life better in our communities.  

“Our branches have private consultation rooms and best of all, there's no appointment needed. If you are suffering with hay fever just pop into your local Lincolnshire Co-op pharmacy to speak to a helpful member of the expert team.”  

Hay fever is one of the most common allergic conditions. It's estimated that there are more than 10 million people with hay fever in England.  

Dr Sunil Hindocha, chief clinical officer at NHS Lincolnshire West Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “It is important hay fever is diagnosed so it can be managed and children especially, can take steps to avoid it.  

“Hay fever can often be controlled using over-the-counter medication from your pharmacist, which will also be saving your local NHS thousands of pounds a year.  

“Pharmacists play a very important role in helping to provide quality health care to patients. They are experts in medicines and can use their clinical expertise as well as their practical knowledge to advise you on the best treatment.  

“Please consider visiting your pharmacy if you are suffering from hay fever symptoms.”  

Hay fever is an allergy to pollen, which is a fine powder released by plants. It contains proteins that can cause your nose, eyes, throat and sinuses to become irritated and inflamed.  

There are several factors that can increase your risk of developing hay fever:

  • Having asthma or another allergic condition such as eczema
  • Having a family history of hay fever
  • Being exposed to tobacco smoke and diesel exhaust particles during early childhood   

To find out more about hay fever and how Lincolnshire Co-op can help, visit: