Warning for hay fever sufferers as experts say today could be the ‘WORST day of the year’ as the Met Office map shows pollen levels very high in all but 3 parts of the UK
Today may be the worst day of the year for hay fever, allergy experts have warned of another expected pollen bomb this weekend.
Misery is expected for millions, with ‘very high’ pollen counts predicted for all but three parts of the UK.
Only the most northerly regions of Scotland escape the Met Office’s highest warning today.
June 22 – dubbed “Hay Day” – is statistically the worst day of the year for hay fever.
Max Wiseberg, maker of an anti-allergy balm, said, “Whether or not this turns out to be the case, it will certainly be one of the worst.”
Today – dubbed ‘Hay Day’ – could be the worst day of the year for hay fever as all but three areas have been issued a ‘very high’ pollen warning by the Met Office
Red alerts remain in effect across much of Britain on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Hay fever is an allergic reaction to pollen – a fine powder that comes from plants, trees and grass. It is thought to affect about 10 million people.
In addition to a runny nose and itchy eyes, it can cause a scratchy throat, headache and fatigue.
Sufferers are advised to smear petroleum jelly around their nose to catch pollen, or to wear sunglasses to protect their eyes.
The Met Office weather forecast shows a ‘high’ or ‘very high’ pollen count across the country over the weekend
As the weekend draws to a close, pollen levels across the country are expected to fall, leaving just three areas with ‘very high’ pollen levels: East England, South West England and London and South East England. Hay fever sufferers in England could be hit by ‘very high’ pollen levels next week as pollen counts set to rise again on Monday 26 June
Other tips include showering when you get home, keeping windows closed in the early mornings and evenings when pollen levels are particularly high, and avoiding gardening and hanging laundry outdoors.
Grass pollen is the culprit of the current increase, according to the Met Office.
‘Very high’ pollen warnings (red) are in effect today for everywhere except Orkney and Shetland, Grampian and Highlands and Eilean Siar.
The same warnings will remain in effect for London and the South East, South West and East throughout the weekend.
Pollen levels fluctuate between ‘high’ (orange) and very high for the rest of England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
On some days there are medium warnings for the most northerly regions of Scotland.
HayMax creator Mr Wiseberg said: ‘Now is probably the best time to put together a hay fever first aid kit.’
Everything you need to know about hay fever
What exactly is hay fever?
Hay fever is an allergic reaction to pollen, a fine powder that comes from plants.
In the spring and summer when the plants bloom, there is more pollen in the air.
The reaction usually occurs when pollen comes in contact with a person’s eyes, nose, mouth, or throat.
Symptoms include coughing and sneezing, a runny or stuffy nose, itchy, red, or watery eyes, an itchy throat, nose, mouth, or ears, headache, and tiredness.
Does it get worse every year?
The severity of hay fever depends on the weather.
Wet and rainy conditions wash away pollen, reducing the number of people with symptoms and their severity.
Dry weather, however, blows pollen into the air, where it can easily get into the eyes and nose.
The pollen season also appears to be lengthening, with a US study last year finding it extended by 30 days between 1990 and 2018.
When are the symptoms worst?
Hay fever symptoms are usually worst around 11 a.m. and 6 p.m., and this is because pollen levels are up in the nose.
Pollen lies on the ground at the beginning of the day and rises as the grass warms up.
During the day, the pollen then goes very high into the atmosphere.
As the temperature cools during the day, the pollen grains return to Earth and are usually back at nose level by 6 p.m.