New Survey In the UK found that a fifth of allergy sufferers have taken time off work due to their allergies
Date: JUL 2014
- A fifth of people say they have suffered from a nasal allergy for over 20 years.
- 55% of those surveyed said their first reaction to an allergic reaction to airborne allergens would be to reach straight for medication in the form of antihistamines or medicated nasal sprays with only 18% of people consulting their GP first.
- A fifth of allergy sufferers have taken time off work due to their allergy, of which 42% have taken a full day and 30% have taken a few days off.
The number of hay fever sufferers has risen dramatically, with 18 million people suffering in the UK according to Allergy UK. However, new research by Stérimar sea water nasal spray has revealed that the UK population aren't treating their nasal allergies, such as hay fever, as seriously as they might other health conditions, with 15% saying they self-diagnosed after reading symptoms online. Furthermore, one in ten said their parents diagnosed them.
With 39% of sufferers saying they choose their medication without consulting a healthcare professional, it seems that self-diagnosis is leading to sufferers self-prescribing medicines to treat their allergy. Worryingly, over half of those surveyed (51%) state that they would only be concerned about potential side effects from their medication if they started to experience them.
The survey also revealed that people are not consulting their GPs when it comes to treating nasal allergies, stating that they find it difficult to make an appointment, do not have the time to see a GP and that they don't believe a healthcare professional can really help with their condition.
Maureen Jenkins from Allergy UK says:
- There is so much information on hay fever readily available in the UK, it appears that many sufferers decide that it is an easier option to self-diagnose and self-medicate.
- The degree to which people suffer from hay fever can differ dramatically from one person to another so it is still important that people consult a healthcare professional on the best treatment for them. This will help ensure they manage their symptoms effectively to prevent further inflammation, congestion and possible asthma symptoms and minimise the effects on everyday life. Even for those that have had hay fever for years, allergies can change over time and treatment options have improved, so it may be beneficial to change your treatment with guidance from a doctor or pharmacist.
- For those with the mildest, intermittent symptoms, a routine of natural products and lifestyle changes could be enough to relieve symptoms and for those with persistent or more severe symptoms, some natural products can be used in conjunction with medication prescribed or recommended by a doctor, pharmacist or nurse practitioner. For example, sea water nasal sprays like Sterimar to wash away pollen and pollution from the nose can help relieve and prevent symptoms, plus a nasal balm or barrier that is used to block pollen from the nose. An air purifier may also help to trap any pollen that is airborne in the home.
"We advise anyone who thinks they have hay fever to talk to their pharmacist or GP for an initial diagnosis and use the treatments regularly until symptoms have gone. They can also discuss all natural treatment options with a healthcare professional or pharmacist, as these can relieve mild symptoms and help those with severe symptoms, who will require anti-inflammatory sprays and medications. By washing away allergens first, the natural seawater nasal sprays enable anti-inflammatory nasal therapies to work better. Pharmacists are easily accessible and very knowledgeable about treatments so will be able to offer advice and guidance."
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Next review: 30 July 2021