Why DOES hay fever feel so bad this year? The myths and methods to ease the sneeze

HAY fever sufferers had a brief respite from the horribly high pollen levels at the end of the week – but it's bad news this weekend…

After plummeting to "low" in areas such as London and Cambridge, pollen is back with a bang to cause itchy eyes and sneezing.

The Met Office is predicting the pollen count will be "very high" from Saturday in some spots, so it's time to get all of your defence tools ready.

But even though the pollen count has been high, Brits have reported feeling worse from hay fever than ever before.

This could be simply due to the fact that we haven't really been out and about in the summer for a while now.

Everyone was largely still in lockdown this time last year, only allowed to meet one other person outside.

A large chunk of people had to shield and weren't going out at all, and so won't have come into contact with pollen properly for months.

So now, as we enjoy more freedoms and spend the sunny days lounging in parks with pals or playing in gardens with family, we will have been hit by the pollen bombs.


Holly Shaw, the nurse advisor for Allergy UK told Radio 1 Newsbeat: "At the moment we're in the peak of a really nice warm spell, there are light winds – which is very favourable for moving pollen around – and we're having days of high pollen counts.

"So it isn't unusual for me to hear patients reporting their hay fever symptoms are really miserable."

She added people's "perception" of the symptoms will make it feel worse after spending so long in lockdown.

The expert quashed a myth which emerges every year, spread by sufferers desperate for a remedy to work – using local honey.

Holly said: "That's one of those myths that comes around every year.

"There isn't any evidence to support that. There's no research, think about where the problem comes from – the trees, weeds and grass.

"It's bees pollinating flowers. So they're taking the pollen from the flowers."

But what can you do to try and feel better if you're really suffering from hay fever?

Experts say that one of the best ways to combat hay fever is to stay indoors.

But if you do go outside there are some measures you can take to ease those symptoms.

Allergy expert Max Wiseberg said: “Tie your hair up and wear a hat when outside to prevent pollen particles being caught in your hair and wear wraparound sunglasses to prevent pollen particles coming in contact with your eyes.

"Keep well hydrated and eat lots of fruit and vegetables to stay healthy and support your immune system.

"Shower at night before sleeping to remove pollen particles from your hair and body.”

He continued: "Close windows and doors to prevent pollen blowing into your home and vacuum the house regularly  – especially beds and fabrics – to remove pollen particles.

"Dry your clothes indoors rather than outdoors to prevent pollen particles being blown onto the clothes by the outside wind.”

You should also make sure any pets are well groomed and shampooed, as they can carry pollen particles in their fur, and keep them out of the room where you sleep.

There are also conventional over-the-counter medicines which can combat hay fever symptoms.

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