Hay fever and pollen

It has been reported recently that GP visits have increased due to the symptoms of hay fever being on the rise. The report states the recent warm weather has seen well over 11,000 people visit their GP in the second week of June alone with complaints of the allergy.

Hay fever explained

According to the NHS, hay fever is an allergic reaction to pollen that affects about one in five of the population. Pollen itself is a fine powder produced by plants. NHS guidance explains that there are three different types of pollen that cause this allergic reaction, all of which are most prominent at different times throughout the year. These are tree pollen, weed pollen and grass pollen. Pollen from trees is more prominent in the air around spring time, whereas weed pollen is present for much longer, and is possible to be present from early spring to the late autumn. Grass pollen is also present from late spring to early summer.

Pollen count

NHS guidance explains how pollen in the air is measured. The number used to represent it is the amount of pollen grains per cubic metre of air. A high level of pollen is considered to be 50 or more grains per cubic metre of air. This is when most people will suffer an allergic reaction. Less than 30 grains per cubic metre is considered a low level of pollen.

Treatment

Although there is no cure for the allergy, treatment for the symptoms of hay fever is readily available over the counter and include nasal sprays, eye drops and tablets. NHS guidance advises that many people who suffer from hay fever find that the symptoms ease as they age, however for more severe cases, sufferers should speak to their GP for prescription medicine.

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