Hay fever season in the UK usually begins in late March and runs through to November. However, experts warned back in February the season could begin earlier this year due to the unseasonably mild weather that month causing a rise in pollen. The Met Office said it had noticed levels of pollen already on the rise while the country was still technically in winter. And now we are at the end of March, when pollen rises are normally just beginning to surface, hay fever season is already in full swing.
Although it is very difficult to avoid exposure to pollen there are a number of measures you can take that will help you to minimise exposure and ease the severity of your hay fever symptoms
The Met Office has officially begun its pollen count for 2019, and according to the expert much of the country is already experiencing moderate levels of pollen.
Scotland, Northern Ireland and the most northern parts of England are currently experiencing low levels of pollen, according to the Met Office.
But the lower northern parts of England, the Midlands, southern England and Wales are already experiencing moderate levels.
By Friday, the forecaster expects some areas of southern England to reach high levels of pollen, before returning to moderate levels on Saturday.
According to the weather and pollen expert, the pollen season is separated into three main sections:
- Tree pollen – which usually rises from late March to mid-May
- Grass pollen – which usually rises from mid-May to July
- Weed pollen – which usually rises from the end of June to September
However, pollen from all three may begin to rise earlier than normal this year.
What are the symptoms of hay fever?
Common hay fever symptoms include sneezing, runny or blocked nose, itchy eyes, mouth and throat. Less common hay fever symptoms include headaches and hives.
How can you prevent or relieve symptoms of hay fever?
“Although it is very difficult to avoid exposure to pollen there are a number of measures you can take that will help you to minimise exposure and ease the severity of your hay fever symptoms,” advised the Met Office.
First and foremost, the Met Office advises checking the pollen count every day. This will allow you to work out how high the pollen is on a particular day.
11 Tips to get you through hay fever season
Hay fever season is upon us once again, here are our top tips to reduce those annoying pollen allergy symptoms.
Avoid parks or fields, particularly in the early evening when there’s a lot of pollen floating at nose level
The next step is to take measures to protect yourself from the pollen. This could include wearing wrap-around sunglasses to conceal your eyes from the pollen and avoiding grassy areas such as parks and fields.
After being outside, wash your hair and change your clothes to get rid of any pollen, and keep the windows closed when indoors.
If you know you usually get hay fever, start treatment early to protect yourself in advance.
Treatments include antihistamine tablets or nasal sprays, corticosteroid nasal sprays and drops, nasal decongestants, eye drops, immunotherapy, and alternative therapies.
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