Hay fever relief in short supply

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CHEMISTS are running out of hay fever remedies because of record pollens levels.

Sufferers have been warned to expect another month of sneezing and sore eyes, as chemists' stocks run dry thanks to the lateness of the hay fever season and the hot weather. Dr Sanjay Kinra, a public health specialist with South and West Devon Health Authority, said: "The obvious rise in cases could be attributed to an upward trend in hay fever, although it could be put down to people's greater awareness of new hay fever remedies."

Around nine million people in Britain suffer from hay fever. and in the past ten days, pollen levels up to six times the annual average have been recorded by scientists at the National Pollen Research Unit at the University of Worcester. Grass pollen are the main allergens, reaching peak airborne levels during May, June and July.

Jean Emberlin, the director of the National Pollen Research Unit, said: "Hay fever sufferers in the south should brace themselves for another fortnight of sneezing before the pollen season ends."

Sian Retallick, of the Hyde Pharmacy in Plymouth, said: "We get a boom every year but I just think it has come later and we have run out of stocks."

Geoff Key, a pharmacist at Torpoint in the West Country, said this year's pollen season had arrived all at once rather than steadily building up during the spring, which may have surprised some chemists.