Hay fever symptoms are triggered when the pollen count is high, and with British summer fast approaching, sufferers may be interested to know what areas of the UK tend to be worst hit.
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Grass pollen is the main trigger for hay fever, with the season running from late May until early August.
But hay fever season as a whole starts with spring tress in February/March and runs through summer to the late summer weeds then into autumn with fungal spores.
Some people are allergic to only one type of pollen whereas others can be allergic to several, so the length of time a person has symptoms can differ a lot.
With this in mind, which areas of the UK tend to be the worst triggers for pollen allergies?
Dr Jean Emberlin, on behalf of Opticrom Hayfever Eye Drops, said inland lowland areas with meadow lands and other extensive areas of flowering grass, especially in the midlands, have the highest pollen counts.
She added: “Cities with high levels of air pollution also have high hay fever rates as the pollution makes symptoms worse and increases the chances of getting hay fever.”
So where are the lowest counts of pollen?
Dr Emberlin said: “Coastal places, uplands and moorlands.
“Northern region tend to have shorter pollen season. Western regions tend to have more rain and so fewer high count days.”
How can you relieve hay fever symptoms?
The most important tip, according to Dr Emberlin, is to talk to a pharmacist or GP for information about treatments such as antihistamines, eye drops, and corticosteroid nasal sprays.
She said: “In most cases medication and treatments can control symptoms.
“If you have severe hay fever your GP may refer you to a specialist. If you are pregnant, breast feeding, or need or prefer to avoid medications with active ingredients for other reasons, there are remedies such as cellulose nose sprays, that have been clinically tested and can help to alleviate the symptoms.”
You should also take note of pollen forecasts on the TV, radio or websites to find out when seasons are starting, when high pollen count days will occur and when seasons end.
She said: “Remember that grass pollen counts are often highest in the early morning and evening. This will help you to plan your day, avoid high pollen counts and be prepared with appropriate treatments.”
But you shouldn’t stop going outside completely. Dr Emberlin recommends just avoiding times when the pollen count is at its highest.
She said: “When out and about make sure you are prepared by carrying tissues, a bottle of water and your medication or treatment with you.
“Wearing sunglasses and a broad-rimmed hat can help keep pollen away from your face.
“Blow your nose gently to help to remove the pollen grains from your respiratory system.”