HEALTH MAT­TERS

Macclesfield Express - - MACCLESFIELD PEOPLE YOUR PET -

●● DR Paul Bowen, GP with McIlvride Med­i­cal Prac­tice, Poyn­ton and ex­ec­u­tive chair of NHS East­ern Cheshire Clin­i­cal Com­mis­sion­ing Group (CCG). MY mum al­ways told me I was al­ler­gic to peni­cillin.

It was only when I was given it as a med­i­cal stu­dent, hav­ing forgotten to tell my doc­tor about the al­lergy, when I re­alised I wasn’t.

No rash, no re­ac­tion at all. In ret­ro­spect, my ‘al­lergy’ was prob­a­bly a side ef­fect, or a sen­si­tiv­ity to the drug which I had grown out of.

How­ever, as many as one in four peo­ple will have an al­ler­gic re­ac­tion of some type in their lives, this Al­lergy Aware­ness Week is a great op­por­tu­nity to high­light the is­sues faced by those with al­ler­gies.

Many are mild and wear off as we grow older. Some are se­ri­ous and re­quire med­i­ca­tion to pre­vent and treat their ef­fects.

As hay-fever sea­son ap­proaches, many will be reach­ing for the an­ti­his­tamines, avail­able over the counter from your chemist, and th­ese medicines should be used for any al­ler­gic re­ac­tion such as rash, sneez­ing and itch­ing.

Runny noses can be man­aged with nasal sprays and creams can help rashes.

Just ask your phar­ma­cist.

It is com­mon for chil­dren to de­velop a sen­si­tiv­ity to cer­tain foods and sub­stances early on and, in the rare cases where th­ese cause a sig­nif­i­cant re­ac­tion, you should dis­cuss this with your GP or health vis­i­tor.

Very rarely an al­ler­gic re­ac­tion can be se­ri­ous, and if some­one de­vel­ops breath­ing prob­lems, mouth swelling or col­lapse, 999 should be called. If you al­ways re­act to a cer­tain food or sub­stance, then you are prob­a­bly al­ler­gic to it, but it doesn’t al­ways mean you need tests, or even treat­ment.

Avoid­ance is the best cure.

Al­lergy test­ing and re­fer­ral to an al­lergy spe­cial­ist can help in se­vere re­ac­tions to mul­ti­ple or un­known sub­stances, so speak to your GP if you are con­cerned.

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