A late spring has concentrated the release of tree pollen into a smaller period - and that means bad news for hayfever sufferers...
The UK has one of the highest rates of hayfever in Europe, with around one in four of us suffering. Hayfever is an allergic reaction to pollen particles releasd from trees, weeds or grasses throughout the spring, summer and even into the autumn.
Because we have experienced such a delayed spring in 2013, pollen levels are unseasonally high right now. And that means seriously bad news for hayfever sufferers.
How can I ease my hayfever symptoms?
Pharmacist Nick Kay, from Newquay, explains, 'Typically hayfever sufferers begin to experience symptoms in March. However the prolonged cold weather has caused the hayfever season to start later than usual. Unfortunately for sufferers, this means that grasses are producing higher amounts of pollen and when the warmer weather finally does appear the pollen count will sky rocket.'
When pollen particles enter the nose, throat or eyes, the cells lining these body parts release histamine to expel the foreign bodies. This causes your hayfever symptoms, and is the reason why we take anti-histamines to prevent hayfever and other allergies.
Symptoms can vary from person to person, but tend to include sneezing, a runny nose, red, itchy runny eyes, headaches, a sore throat, wheezing and coughing. You may also have trouble sleeping and feel fatigued.
15 steps to allergy-free living
Nick Kaye says, 'With stay-cations in the UK becoming increasingly popular, the number of people exposed to pollen in the summer months is growing, so it is not surprising to see reports that this is reflected in the growing number of hayfever sufferers.
'While there is no cure for hayfever, the condition can be managed and there are a variety of treatments which can provide relief from hayfever symptoms.'
There is a whole array of remedies to help minimise the symptoms of hayfever, including pills, sprays, eye drops and gadgets to wear or use in your home. Every sufferer is different, so it's a question of finding the right remedies that work for you. Some of our favourite hayfever remedies.
One thing to remember, though, is that with allergies, including hayfever, you are going to suffer less if you build up a barrier of allergy control medication, remove pollen from the atmosphere, or boost your immunity so your system is better able to fight off those airborne invaders.
Prevention is better than cure with allergies - here's how to keep them at bay before symptoms appear
Like us on facebook
Follow us on twitter
Other Hearst Magazines UK sites