'Worst pollen bomb of the year' to hit today - 'secret' tips to beat hay fever (2024)

IT'S bad news for millions of hay fever sufferers, as the UK experiences the "worst pollen bomb of the year" so far.

It comes as forecasts suggest there could be a heatwave this week -reaching highs of 31C in some parts.

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The Met Office has warned the pollen count will be 'very high' across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland for the next five days, peaking on Monday (today).

Today, the Highlands and Orkney and Shetland in northern Scotland are the only areas spared of the 'very' high levels - but they will still experience a miserable 'high' count.

Pollen spread will remain at similar levels until Thursday when most of the UK will see (and potentially feel) a drop from 'very high' pollen levels to 'high'.

Meanwhile, the South West, London and the South East and the East of England will see no such respite from the eyewatering 'very high' count.

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From Friday, most of the country will be back in the red zone experiencing 'very high' levels of pollen.

The only places predicted to see marginally lower levels will be Strathclyde, Central, Tayside, Fyfe, Grampian and the Highlands and Orkney and Shetland.

'Hay Day' was a term dubbed by the charity Asthma + Lung UK for the worst day of the year for people with hay fever, typically on June 21.

Allergens expert and creator ofHayMax allergen barrier balms Max Wiseberg, says:"Monday, for 14 of the 16 UK regions – with only northern Scotland escaping - will be worse than ‘Hay Day’ [June 21] when ‘only’ 12 UK regions are likely to have very high pollen levels.

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“It will certainly be one of the worst times for hay fever sufferers.

"Many regions of the UK are forecast to have high and very high pollen counts for the foreseeable future. We are definitely in peak hay fever season.”

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At least 13million Brits are plagued by symptoms ofhay feverevery summer - from itchy eyes, a constant runny nose,and headachesto irritating sneezes and a sore throat.

But for people with respiratory conditions, like asthma, high pollen levels can be fatal.

Asthma + Lung UK's research suggests pollen is a trigger for 47 per cent of people with asthma and 27 per cent of those who have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (also known as COPD).

This can cause symptoms like coughing, wheezing, a tight chest and breathlessness to flare up.

Erika Radford, the organisation's head of health advice, said: "When pollen particles are breathed in, they can cause inflammation in the airways and get into the lungs, making it harder for those with lung conditions to breathe which can be terrifying."

Sun Health's 14 tips to beat hay fever hell on a budget

SUMMER is nearly here which means the annual onslaught of dreaded hay fever symptoms is back with a vengeance

Triggered when the immune system reacts to the allergen pollen, commonhay feversymptoms include watery, itchy eyes, a tickly throat and a runny, congested nose.

Holly Shaw, a nurse adviser for charity Allergy UK, puts this down to “better diagnosis but also climate change, with warmer temperatures causing pollen seasons to start earlier and last longer”.

But ifthe go-to remediesof daily anti-histamine tablets, nasal sprays and balms from the chemist are not doing the trick, don’t lose hope, there are other hacks you can deploy.

From regularly showering and vacuuming the home to scoffing chocs, here are some tactics backed by experts not to be sneezed at . . .

  1. Wear wraparound sunglasses and a hat with a peak or big brim or go for a face mask
  2. On high pollen days, have a bath or shower and wash your hair. Change your clothes when you get home.
  3. Avoid mowing the lawn or raking leaves – ask someone else to step in.
  4. Try not to dry clothes or bed linen outside when the allergen count is high.
  5. Keep windows firmly closed, especially early in the morning and in the evening, when higher levels of pollen are released.
  6. Wipe down pets with a damp cloth, as they can bring pollen into the home. Also, think about keeping your dog or cat away from you if you can.
  7. Put Vaseline around your nostrils to trap particles before they can work their way up your nose.
  8. Take a few minutes each day to vacuum well, especially if you have deep-pile carpets. Hoover over upholstered furniture where particles may have spread through open window.
  9. Wipe down window panes and sills regularly.
  10. Wash your bedding once a week at a high temperature to remove any pollen that may have transferred from you and your clothes.
  11. Take vitamin D supplements. Research has shown they can regulate immune system cells that help to prevent allergic reactions.
  12. Experts say diets high in antioxidants such as broccoli, spinach, potato and carrot can help to ward off stuffy noses caused by hay fever.
  13. Dark chocolate can also help to reduce symptoms, it is said.
  14. If all else fails and you feel hay fever is ruining your life, or even causing asthma attacks, pay a visit to your doctor who could refer you to a specialist clinic.

Erica said there are things people with asthma can do to protect themselves, which includes staying indoors.

“Checking pollen and air pollution forecasts in your local area every day is a good idea, so you can avoid going outdoors as much as possible on high pollen days," she said.

 “You should always have your reliever inhaler nearby, even when at home, in case pollen does trigger symptoms like breathlessness or chest tightness. 

"Reliever inhalers quickly relax the muscles in the airways to help you breathe more easily when symptoms arise.

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 “Another thing you can do is to take antihistamine medicines to relieve your hay fever symptoms.

"In addition, your GP can prescribe a setroid nasal spray to help reduce the allergic reaction."

The best hay fever treatments on a budget

1. Allergy Eye Mist

If you hate the thought of drops, consider an eye mist which works in the same way – just spray it once or twice onto closed eyelids to to three times a day.

TryOptrex hay fever relief eye drops, 10ml - £6, from Tesco.

2. Cetirizine Allergy & Hay Fever Tablets

Products containing Cetirizine work to combat allergies without making you feel tired.

Superdrug's pack of 30 tabletscomes in at £5.45.

3. Hay Fever Relief Nasal Spray

For over-the-counter relief you could tryPirinase Allergy Relief Nasal Spray for Adultsx 60 Sprays from Pharmacy2U, £4.98

Or for something on prescription, tryBeclometasone Nasal Spray from ChemistClick, £5.49.

4. Vaseline

Dabbing a little bit of petroleum jelly around the edges of your nose works as a barrier to trap pollen before you breathe it in.

Get a 50g pot for £1.80 at Boots.

5. The Eye Doctor Allergy Hay Fever Compress

The Eye Doctor Allergy Hay Fever Compress has thermal dynamic fabric, which uses regulated evaporation to cool more rapidly.

It helps to reduce puffiness, swelling, itching, inflammation and even headaches, and comes with an adjustable comfy strap.

You can buy it atSuperdrug for £8.99.

6. Throat spray

Ultra Chloraseptic Anaesthetic Throat Spray contains the active ingredient benzocaine which belongs to the group of medicines called local anaesthetics.

You can buy UltraChloraseptic Anaesthetic Throat Spray for £6 from Amazon

'Worst pollen bomb of the year' to hit today - 'secret' tips to beat hay fever (2024)

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