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Hay fever hope greets world week

Monday April 4th, 2011

Millions of hay fever sufferers have been urged to take hope as the onset of spring threatens misery.

As pollen begins to spread across the northern hemisphere, this week has been declared World Allergy Week by the World Allergy Organisation.

In Britain experts admitted services were often inadequate - but said they were improving.

Backing the week, the British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology set out some of the treatments available to sufferers.

These range from anti-histamines and corticosteroid sprays or eye drops to injection immunotherapy - which the experts say offers hope of a long-term improvement and may prevent the development of asthma.

President Dr Glenis Scadding said the organisation had been giving training to GPs to help improve diagnosis.

The organisation estimates that 30 per cent of the UK population will suffer from hay fever.

She said: "Despite the increase in hay fever and other allergic diseases, services for patients in the UK remain inadequate. GPs often lack sufficient allergy knowledge to make a diagnosis."

The World Allergy Organisation said up to 40 per cent of people globally are affected by some kind of allergy - and this could increase.

It warned that "complex allergies" are increasing. These affect several parts of the body and may be caused by a range of substances.

And global warming is set to aggravate the problem, it said, changing pollen counts and insect numbers.

Tags: Allergies & Asthma | Child Health | Respiratory | UK News | World Health

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