Pollen count today: How to prevent a major hay fever trigger

The Met Office forecast levels of pollen to be very high in London and South East England. These high levels will move to the East of England while the rest of the country will experience mild – high levels of pollen. With around 20 per cent of the UK affected by hay fever, the pollen count spikes could result in large numbers of runny noses and watering eyes today. Almost all of England is predicted to have a medium to high pollen count today and tomorrow with Scotland experiencing only low levels.

Hay fever is also known as allergic rhinitis and causes cold-like symptoms including a running nose, itchy eyes, congestion, sneezing and sinus pressure.

However, unlike colds, hay fever is not caused by a virus but rather it is an allergic reaction.

This is from either a outdoor or indoor allergen including pollen, dust mites or tiny particles of skin and saliva shed by animals.

Asthma UK said: “High levels of pollen and pollution forecast this week means people with asthma may find their symptoms get worse which increases their risk of a potentially fatal asthma attack.

Up to 80 per cent of people with asthma also have hay fever and people living in urban areas need to take special care as they are at risk of what is being referred to as ‘grey fever’ where pollen particles combine with pollution especially during periods of dry warm weather.”

Signs and symptoms may get worse at certain times of the year. In early spring, tree pollen is more common, late spring it is grass pollen and autumn ragweed is the most common.

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The NHS offers advise to keep symptoms of hay fever at bay:

  • Put vaseline around your nostrils
  • Wear wraparound sunglasses to stop pollen getting into the eyes
  • Shower and change clothes after you’ve been outside to wash off pollen
  • Stay indoors as much as possible
  • Keep windows and doors shut as much as possible
  • Vacuum regularly and dust with a damp cloth
  • Buy pollen filters for the air vent in cars and vacuum cleaners with a special HEPA filter

Doctor Samantha Walker, director of research and policy at Asthma UK said: “If you have asthma you should check pollen and air pollution forecasts in your local area, make sure you carry your reliever inhaler, and know what to do if your symptoms get worse.

“If you have hay fever it’s important to use a steroid nasal spray every day together with non-drowsy antihistamine tablets as needed.”



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