Melinda Messenger and Alistair Murray from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society offer flu advice
MELINDA MESSENGER – TV PRESENTER AND MOTHER OF FLYNN (6 YEARS OLD) WHO WAS HOSPITALISED DUE TO AN ALLERGIC REACTION TO POLLEN.
New research released today by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society reveals that over 5 million hay fever sufferers may be confusing their symptoms with a cold or flu and taking inappropriate medication to treat their condition. Almost 13 million people suffer from hay fever each year in the UK – experiencing uncomfortable symptoms including; runny noses, blotchy skin and streaming eyes – but new research shows that 42% of hay fever sufferers may be confusing their condition for a cold or flu, with almost three quarters (73%) admitting to taking medicines to treat their symptoms without first seeking advice from a medical professional.
With this year’s birch and grass pollen seasons overlapping, some experts are predicting that this year’s hay fever season will be one of the worst seen in the UK, as more people are suffering from symptoms earlier in the year. Whether its global warming or growing sensitivity, figures support this increase with £87.6 million spent on over the counter hay fever remedies in 2006, a rise of 17% compared to the previous year.
While some hay fever symptoms can be annoying – for some the effects of the condition can be more serious. Research reveals that 2 in 5 hay fever sufferers become irritable, 29% have difficultly concentrating and a third have difficultly sleeping. 1 in 10 said they are embarrassed about their appearance and avoid socialising whilst 1 in 20 hay fever sufferers say they avoid leaving the house.
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