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This could be the reason your hay fever is so much worse this year UK News

If you are unlucky enough to suffer from hay fever, you will have noticed that the symptoms seem to be much worse than in previous years.

People have taken to social media to complain about their symptoms and many are suffering from the increase in pollen counts this time of year.

According to a chief nurse at one of the nation’s leading allergy charities, this could be because people’s perception of symptoms has changed after a year of stalemate.

Holly Shaw, nurse advisor for Allergy UK, spoke to BBC Radio One’s Newsbeat about how people with hay fever are getting hotter than normal this year.

She said: “When the Covid-19 pandemic first hit, we noticed people coming in to tell us that their appointments had been delayed or postponed.

They turned even more to charities to support them during this time. ”

“Right now we’re at the top of a really nice heat wave, there are light winds – which is great for moving pollen – and we have days of high pollen density,” says Holly.

“So it’s not unusual for me to hear patients say that their hay fever symptoms are really miserable.”

But Holly added that it could be because people “perceive” their symptoms differently.

However, she doesn’t think the lockdown and self-isolation will have made people with the disease more sensitive to pollen this year.

When does hay fever season start?

Hay fever is an allergic reaction to pollen and usually occurs when it comes in contact with the mouth, nose, eyes, and throat. The hay fever season usually begins from late March to late September, with various pollens causing allergies at different times throughout the summer.

Tree pollen occurs first, usually from late March to mid-May. Grass pollen then typically lasts from mid-May to July, with weed pollen covering from late June to September.

However, the Met Office explains that depending on where you live in the UK, the hay fever season will start at different times.

“For example, there is a later start and a shorter season in the north of the UK, where there is generally less pollen,” the Met Office said.

Urban areas tend to have lower counts than the countryside, and places inland have higher counts than around the coast.

Grass pollen also has two peaks, the first usually starting in the first two weeks of June, and then the second, a lower peak, occurring in the first two weeks of July, after which things slowly come to a halt.

These peaks can be masked by the degree of humidity, drought, heat or cold, and the timing of the peaks also depends on weather conditions in the spring and early summer.

Pollen also depends on the “hardiness of different species and their ability to handle a mixture of different types in an area,” the Met Office added.

What are the symptoms of hay fever?

According to the NHS, symptoms of hay fever include:

  • sneezing and coughing
  • a runny or stuffy nose
  • itchy, red, or watery eyes
  • itchy throat, mouth, nose and ears
  • loss of sense of smell
  • pain around the temples and forehead
  • headache
  • earache
  • Feeling tired

If you have asthma, you can also:

  • have a feeling of tightness in the chest
  • to be out of breath
  • wheezing and coughing

How can I treat my hay fever symptoms?

While there is no cure or prevention for hay fever, there are things you can do to ease your symptoms when pollen counts are high.

The NHS suggests the following:

  • put petroleum jelly around your nostrils to trap pollen
  • wear wraparound sunglasses to prevent pollen from entering your eyes
  • taking a shower and changing clothes after being outside to remove pollen
  • stay indoors as much as possible
  • keep windows and doors closed as much as possible
  • vacuum regularly and dust with a damp cloth
  • buy a pollen filter for your car air vents and a vacuum cleaner with HEPA filter

You can also talk to your pharmacist if you are suffering from the symptoms of hay fever. They can give advice and suggest the best treatments to relieve your symptoms, such as antihistamine drops, tablets, or nasal sprays.

Your GP may also prescribe steroid therapy for you, and then your GP may refer you for immunotherapy.

There are also things you can avoid doing to avoid making hay fever symptoms worse, including:

  • do not cut the grass or walk on the grass
  • don’t spend too much time outside
  • do not keep fresh flowers in the house
  • not smoking or being surrounded by smoke – this makes your symptoms worse
  • do not dry clothes outside – they can get pollen
  • do not allow pets into the house if possible – they can carry pollen inside

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This notice was published: 2021-06-19 10:00:00

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