A "pollen bomb" is set to hit the UK this week with hay fever sufferers warned to have allergy medicine at the ready.
High pressure is set to bring a sunny week in the UK, with temperatures forecast to reach the early 20-degree level.
The warm weather will exacerbate pollen levels in the UK according to the Met Office.
It said pollen levels are set to increase across the country, skyrocketing to high alerts in the south of England and across Wales with several regions moving from a medium alert to a high.
“Pollen levels are increasing, particularly in southern and central areas of England and Wales, and that’s because of these settled weather conditions”, a Met Office spokesperson told The Independent newspaper. LINK
“There’s nothing in the way of rain forecast to dampen any pollen levels down, so certainly a week to have that medication ready for any hay fever sufferers.”
Alongside taking medication like antihistamines, keeping windows rolled down whilst driving, drying laundry inside and avoiding pollen peaks can also help to alleviate symptoms.
“Pollen levels are generally higher in the morning as the pollen rises up in the warming air, and again high in the evening as that pollen cools and comes down to the surface where we’re breathing the air in, so being aware of those times of the day is important”, the Met Office further advised.
Hay fever – also known as pollen allergy – is mainly caused by grass pollens, but it can also be triggered by other forms of pollen. Symptoms, which can include frequent sneezing, a runny or blocked nose, itchy or watery eyes or even a cough, occur as the immune system responds to pollen by creating histamine and other chemicals.
Approximately one in five people will suffer from hay fever in their lifetime, equating to 10 million people in Britain. Many rely on antihistamine drops, tablets or nasal sprays to relieve their symptoms.
The majority of people who suffer from hay fever are allergic to grass pollen. However, the hay fever season tends to start at slightly different times depending on where in the UK you live: in the north, the season tends to be shorter, enjoying a later start with generally lower pollen levels.
The peaks in pollen levels can sometimes be hidden by the weather, and the balance of wet, dry, warm or cold conditions can heavily influence any peaks or “pollen bombs.” In winter, colder temperatures will typically delay any pollen release from plants and trees into the next year.
Can you use Honey to prevent Hayfever?
Health Editor Charlotte Haigh explains:
“Traditionally, it’s often been claimed local honey may be particularly effective for easing hay fever symptoms – the theory goes that, as it contains tiny amounts of local pollen, it can desensitise your immune system to the pollens in your area.
Further research (1) has found honey may potentially help ease hayfever symptoms too, such as sneezing and running eyes, by moderating the immune system’s overreaction to pollen.
More studies are needed to further investigate how honey could help hayfever but it could be worth trying a daily spoonful to see if it makes a difference to your symptoms.
And because Manuka honey is known to have particularly powerful anti-inflammatory properties, it may be especially helpful to add a Genuine New Zealand Manuka from Manuka Doctor to your Summer Honey Supply this season.
It could also help if throat irritation’s one of your hay fever symptoms – try it in a soothing drink or straight off the spoon. Delicious!
You can see all Manuka Doctor’s honey ON SALE here.