It’s that time of year again when hay fever sufferers in the UK are going to have a tough few months and this summer could be tougher than most as experts warn of high levels of incoming pollen.
High pollen levels could make allergy symptoms unbearable for millions of people, as grass pollen is the most common allergy to hay fever, affecting 90 percent of those with the disease.
High levels of pollen
The Met Office has issued a warning in its pollen forecast, with much of the UK expected to suffer from “very high” levels.
The upper end of Scotland, including Ornkey and Shetland, Highlands and Grampian, has managed to get away with low pollen levels, but the further you descend into the UK the more the levels rise.
The regions of Lothians, Strathclyde and Fife are forecast for average pollen levels, as is Northern Ireland, but the majority of England is set for “very high” pollen levels.
The Met Office explains that the “Pollen Count Monitoring Network combines meteorological data from the Met Office with the expertise of organizations such as the National Pollen and Aerobiological Unit to produce pollen forecasts for 5 days in advance in the whole of the United Kingdom “.
How do I know if I have hay fever?
The NHS website lists the symptoms of hay fever as follows:
- 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 temples and forehead
- Feeling tired
He also specifies that these symptoms will last for weeks or months, making it easier to distinguish between allergies and a cold that only lasts for about a week.
Asthmatics may also experience a feeling of tightness in the chest, shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing.
The symptoms of hay fever can last for weeks or months, according to the NHS, unlike a common cold which usually goes away after about a week or two.
How do the symptoms differ from the coronavirus?
Some people have mistakenly confused hay fever symptoms with coronavirus because there are a number of similarities.
However, although the signs of hay fever include sneezing and coughing, much like the coronavirus, the main difference is that it usually doesn’t cause a high fever.
People with hay fever usually don’t feel too bad about it, unlike coronavirus.
People who suffer from hay fever are advised to compare their symptoms to what they have experienced in previous years if they are affected.
How to relieve the symptoms of hay fever?
There is currently no cure for hay fever, but there are a number of remedies you can try to ease symptoms when pollen counts are high.
The NHS website gives the following tips for avoiding hay fever symptoms when pollen counts are high:
- Put petroleum jelly around your nostrils to trap the pollen
- Wear wraparound sunglasses to prevent pollen from entering your eyes
- Take a shower and change 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 a special HEPA filter
You can also try taking antihistamine nasal drops, tablets, or sprays to relieve itching and watery eyes, sneezing, and a stuffy nose.
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This notice was published: 2021-06-16 06:00:00