Hay fever sufferers in Huddersfield face weeks of misery as Britain’s pollen count hits a record high ... so much so it’s now been dubbed a ‘pollen bomb.’
The Met Office has warned of “very high” pollen levels across the town today (Thurs) with a slight downgrading to “high” for tomorrow (Fri) and Saturday before returning to “very high” for Sunday and next Monday.
And the trend could continue for several weeks, it is claimed, as plants unable to flower earlier in the spring due to the long, cold winter, do so all at once when sunshine and balmy temperatures arrive,
Experts have warned that asthma sufferers are at greater risk of deadly attacks from the “pollen bomb” that is affecting much of the UK. Hay fever is expected to affect about 18m people in Britain this summer.
Pollen counts have hit a record high after recent rain and warm weather caused grass and trees to grow more quickly.
The Met Office said the pollen season separated into three main sections with tree pollen predominant between late March to mid-May; grass pollen from mid-May to July and weed pollen from the end of June to September.
It said one in five people in the UK suffer from hay fever with 95% of hay fever sufferers having an allergic reaction to grass pollen.
The bad news for hay fever sufferers seeking solace in a stiff drink is that alcohol can worsen hay fever. Beer, wine and spirits contain histamine, the chemical that sets off allergy symptoms in the body.
Allergy UK said symptoms of hay fever – or allergic rhinitis – include itchy or watering eyes, sneezing, a blocked or runny nose, headaches and blocked sinuses, shortness of breath and tiredness.
Medications to control the symptoms and reactions include antihistamines which are available from a pharmacy without prescription.
Hay fever suffers are advised to monitor pollen forecasts daily and stay indoors wherever possible when the count is high – generally on warmer, dry days. Rain washes pollen from the air so counts should be lower on cooler, wet days.
On high pollen days, sufferers should shower and wash their hair after arriving home and change their clothing.
And they should avoid drying washing on a clothes line outside when the pollen counts are high.