While many people will be looking forward to the warmer weather in the UK, it can be a nightmare for those suffering from hay fever, warns experts.
Rising temperatures may cause tree pollen levels to rise all across the country, especially over the next few days. The Met Office predicts that the first week of spring will see dry, sunny weather with daytime temperatures sitting comfortably in the mid to late teens.
But, it is also believed that climate change may lead to the grass and tree pollen season lasting longer than usual. Furthermore, those who suffer from hay fever believe pollution (64 per cent), rising temperatures (52 per cent) and extreme weather conditions (38 per cent) are the biggest environmental factors impacting their allergies, Wales Online reports.
Readmore: Manchester will be hotter than Ibiza and Majorca this week
New research from Kleenex surveyed 2,000 people in the UK with hay fever and discovered that many of their symptoms have gotten worse in the past 12 months. Common symptoms include sneezing (72 per cent), itchy eyes (64 per cent) and a runny nose (48 per cent).
One-third of those in the survey admitted the severity of their allergies made them stay indoors while 12 per cent said they have called in sick to work as a result. The survey also discovered that, on average, increased symptoms for allergy sufferers resulted in a loss of two hours of sleep a night while 33 per cent said they avoid local parks and green spaces.
A quarter even wrongly self-diagnosed their hay fever symptoms for Covid-19. According to the research, more than half (58 per cent) were unaware of what pollen they were allergic to. Only one fifth (20 per cent) recognized their symptoms as hay fever.
Amena Warner, head of clinical services at the charity Allergy UK, said: “Living with allergies and maintaining a quality of life is not always easy. Enjoying everyday activities can become a real struggle. With the realities that warmer weather brings, it is crucial that allergy sufferers be given the advice, support and tools to manage their symptoms whilst staying active and healthy.”
Kleenex has been developing new technology to enhance its pollen forecast, allowing users to check the forecast at home and work up to five days in advance. A quiz is also available to give people a better idea of whether it is grass, tree, or weed pollen that causes symptoms.
Jin Zhang, global medical director at Kimberly-Clark UK, said: “When temperatures rise, primary sources of pollutants tend to increase, making the air quality even more challenging for millions of hay fever sufferers. As such, global warming will likely cause pollen seasons to start earlier and last longer.”
The survey was conducted online by Mortar Research in March 2022 according to Market Research Society guidelines.
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.