The number of people affected by environmental allergens, such as grass pollen, tree pollen, dust mites, pet dander and mould spores, has been growing for several years now. Environmental allergies can affect anyone, regardless of age, and there's thought to be a genetic link. This means that if one person in your family has environmental allergies, others are likely to have them, too. Environmental allergies can leave you feeling pretty miserable and negatively impact your quality of life. Symptoms, such as itchy eyes, runny nose, headache and skin rashes, can be quite distracting and take the joy out of everyday life. If you've resigned yourself to suffering through your allergy symptoms, you may not be aware that there are several ways your health centre can help, and some sufferers can find significant relief from their symptoms when they seek support and treatment. Here's an overview of how your health centre can support you when you have environmental allergies.


Some allergy medications, such as antihistamines and eye drops, can be bought over-the-counter, but if these aren't bringing your sufficient relief from your symptoms, speak to your doctor. They can prescribe a variety of different types of medication for you to try and will work with you to find the right combination of medicines to help you manage your symptoms. Some allergy medications can make some patients feel drowsy or nauseous, but you don't need to accept these side effects, as there are other medications you can try. Similarly, some medications become less effective over time, so speak with your doctor about adjusting the dose or trying something new.  


If your environmental allergies seem to have flared up recently, your treatment regime may not be the problem. Those with allergies are more likely to develop other types of allergies, so it may be that your allergy profile has changed and you're now allergic to a new environmental allergen. Some health centres run allergy clinics that offer testing, but if yours does not, your GP can arrange blood or skin prick testing for you.

Emotional Support

Having environmental allergies can cause emotional distress for some people. Perhaps you've had to rehome a beloved pet due to developing an allergy to their dander, or maybe you're feeling the weight of not being able to enjoy summertime activities with your family due to severe pollen allergies. If your mental health is suffering as a result of living with environmental allergies, make use of the emotional support services available from your health centre. This may involve attending a support group or having one-to-one counselling with a trained mental health professional.

If you'd like some extra support from a family health centre, contact them to see what services they can provide.