NHS Scarborough and Ryedale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is encouraging patients who suffer from hayfever to visit a pharmacy for help and advice, rather than make an appointment to see their GP.
It said pharmacists are well placed to offer their expertise to help hayfever sufferers manage their condition.
A number of effective over-the-counter remedies are available from pharmacies as well as supermarkets.
Patients are advised to see their GP if they are experiencing wheezing, breathlessness or tightness in their chest, if they are pregnant or breastfeeding or their symptoms are not relieved by over the counter treatments in combination with measures to reduce exposure to pollen.
The CCG said there are a number of measures hay fever sufferers can take, including:
l Keep windows shut in the house and car, especially when pollen counts are high
l Avoid cutting the grass, grassy areas, woodland, pollutants and car fumes
l Wear wrap-around sunglasses
l When you get indoors wash your hands, face, hair, rinse your eyes and change your clothes
l If possible, stay indoors when the pollen count is high
l Use petroleum jelly inside your nose to block inhalation of pollen
l Keep your house clean and wear a mask and glasses when doing house work
Dr Greg Black, NHS Scarborough and Ryedale CCG’s clinical lead on prescribing, said: “Patients do not always realise that a wide range of effective hayfever medications can be purchased from community pharmacies, supermarkets and even corner shops without seeing their doctor and that these medications are often cheaper than NHS prescription fees.”