National Hay fever Service! Brits seek NHS help for sniffles every 3 seconds as maps show ‘pollen bomb’ will last all week – so is your area a hotspot?
- There were 122,650 visits to the NHS hay fever section of the website last wee
- Sunday was the week’s busiest day, with 27,834 visits over 24 hours
Sniffly Brits sought hay fever advice from the NHS every three seconds on Sunday, officials have said.
It comes after pollen levels breached ‘very high’ levels across the country over the weekend, causing misery for millions trying to make the most of the UK’s Caribbean-esque heatwave.
But officials have warned the ‘pollen bomb’ is expected to last all week — with each area of England under red alert until Saturday.
NHS England, which runs the NHS.uk website, said that there were 122,650 visits to the hay fever section of the website last week.
In the first week of May there were just 35,000 visits.
Pollen counts are set to soar to ‘very high’ levels across England and Wales over the coming days, the Met Office said
Sunday was the busiest day of the week, with 27,834 visits over 24 hours. This is the equivalent of one every 3.1 seconds.
‘Many of us experience hay fever symptoms at this time of year,’ said Robert Cleary, NHS England’s content director for the NHS website.
‘And the nhs.uk hay fever advice page provides the latest medical advice to manage your symptoms, as well as giving guidance on when to get support from NHS services.’
With the pollen bomb in full swing, medical charities are urging sufferers of asthma and conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder to ensure they take medication and carry their inhalers.
Hayfever typically causes red, sore, watery, itchy eyes, a runny or blocked nose, sneezing and coughing.
But when combined with asthma or lung conditions it can result in shortness of breath and wheezing.
Charity Asthma and Lung said nearly half (47.1 per cent) of the 5million Britons with asthma and more than a quarter (27.4 per cent) of the 1.3million with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease are triggered by pollen.
ALUK’s Emma Rubach said the pollen bomb was likely to be ‘very problematic’ for people with lung conditions.
Ms Rubach said rain could cause pollen to break into smaller particles meaning they can be inhaled deeper into the lungs.
She said: ‘We’d also advise staying indoors or in shaded areas on very hot days and keeping cool with plenty of cold drinks and cool showers.
A man cycling along the Aire and Calder navigation, in Woodlesford in Leeds enjoying the hot weather
A view of the Aire and Calder navigation, where Brits are soaking up the sun on their river boats in Woodlesford in Leeds
People braved the heat and exercised this morning in Greenwich Park, South East London
Many Brits have are enjoying the sunny weather with their beloved pets walking along canals and rivers
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‘Inhaler medications may not work as well when exposed to direct sunlight so make sure these are kept in a cool, dry area at home and in a dry cool bag when outdoors.’
She added that pollen can ‘prompt asthma attacks which can be terrifying, leaving people fighting to breathe. This can be deadly, and around four people already die in the UK each day from an asthma attack’.
Met Office spokesman Grahame Madge said: ‘With it being so dry across the UK, it means grasses are able to shed pollen.
‘For sufferers, hay fever has been a feature of the last few days and will continue to be a feature for sufferers over the next few days and weeks.’
He said that only significant and heavy rainfall – rather than showers – can wash such high pollen levels from the atmosphere.
According to Asthma UK, around 95 per cent of hayfever sufferers are triggered by the grass pollen season, which tends to be highest between mid-May and July.
Temperatures yesterday hit 28C after 32C was recorded on Saturday and Sunday.
The current heat health alert, warning people to check on friends and relatives who may be vulnerable, lasts until tomorrow.
After more heavy downpours today, thundery showers remain possible for tomorrow but become less likely later in the week.
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