Warmer weather increases the amount of pollen in the air – which brings bad news for those who suffer with hayfever.
But did you know that certain times of the day can trigger hayfever symptoms, or make them worse?
Pollen count rankings
The Met Office ranks the pollen count as low, moderate, high and very high. If you are a hayfever sufferer, it’s more likely that you’ll develop symptoms if you spend time outside in areas of ‘moderate’ pollen levels.
“Grass pollen is the most common allergen (May to July), but tree (February to June) and weed (June to September) pollens can also cause the allergic reaction we know as hay fever,” notes Allergy UK.
When are pollen levels the highest?
According to Allergy UK, pollen levels tend to be highest first thing in the morning and at the end of the day. If you do go outside, it’s best to do so during the middle of the day, and then to stay inside in the evening.
“Pollen levels are at their highest at the beginning of the day, when they rise with the warming air, and at the end of the day when it’s cooling down,” said Allergy UK.
“Counts will increase in dry warm weather, especially if it’s windy. So avoid going outside – and especially avoid strenuous activity – at these times.”
How can I relieve my hayfever symptoms if I have to go outside?
Allergy UK explains that hayfever symptoms can be relieved by the use of antihistamines, as well as avoidance of allergic triggers. Other tips you can follow include:
- Monitoring pollen forecasts daily and staying indoors wherever possible when the count is high (generally on warmer, dry days). Rain washes pollen from the air so counts should be lower on cooler, wet days
- On high pollen days, shower and wash your hair after arriving home and change your clothing
- Avoid drying washing on a clothes line outside when pollen counts are high
- Apply an effective allergen barrier balm around the edge of each nostril to trap or block pollens and other allergens and help prevent a reaction
This article was originally published on our sister site, Lancashire Evening Post.