Met Office warns hay fever sufferers over ‘pollen bomb’ set to hit large parts of UK

By Staff 6 Min Read

The Met Office has issued a warning to hay fever sufferers as a ‘pollen bomb’ is set to hit almost half of the UK over the next few days – with high levels expected in certain areas

Hay fever sufferers are being warned of a pollen bomb set to hit almost half of the UK, according to the Met Office.

High pollen levels are expected to affect areas stretching from the North West and Yorkshire down to the south coast, including Wales, over the next few days. On Friday, high pollen levels were already recorded in South West England. The forecast for Saturday predicts high levels in South West England, London and the South East, Wales, East of England, West Midlands, East Midlands, North West England and Yorkshire and Humber.

Meanwhile, North East England is expected to experience moderate pollen levels, with Scotland and Northern Ireland predicted to have low levels of the irritant. Sunday’s forecast shows a drop in pollen levels, with only London, the South East and East of England expected to have high levels. Much of the rest of England and Wales will see moderate levels, while the North East, Scotland and Northern Ireland will dip to low levels.

By Monday, the East Midlands will join London, the South East and East of England in experiencing high pollen levels, while the rest of England and Wales will remain the same as Sunday. By Tuesday, the three areas with high levels are set to return to moderate, with the rest of the country unchanged, reports Nottinghamshire Live.

The Met Office issues these forecasts to give hay fever sufferers an early warning, although the impact may vary within each area. The method is based on the pollen count, which refers to the amount of pollen per cubic metre observed over a 24 hour period. Although sometimes used interchangeably with the term “pollen forecast”, the pollen count, along with prevailing weather conditions, helps forecast pollen levels in the coming days.

Even though it’s tricky to completely avoid pollen exposure, certain measures can help minimise it. For instance, downloading the Met Office Weather App is recommended for keeping abreast of current pollen levels. Hay fever, an allergy causing sneezing, coughing, and itchy eyes, is sadly common. There’s no absolute cure but it can be managed effectively.

In high pollen counts, the NHS suggests the following steps:

Do:

  • put petroleum jelly (such as Vaseline) around your nostrils to trap pollen
  • wear wraparound sunglasses, a mask or a wide-brimmed hat to stop pollen getting into your nose and eyes
  • shower and change your clothes after you have been outside to wash pollen off
  • keep windows and doors shut as much as possible
  • vacuum regularly and dust with a damp cloth
  • try to use a pollen filter in the air vents of your car, if you have one, and a HEPA filter in your vacuum cleaner

Don’t:

  • do not cut grass or walk on grass
  • do not spend too much time outside
  • do not keep fresh flowers in the house
  • do not smoke or be around smoke – it makes your symptoms worse
  • do not dry clothes outside – they can catch pollen
  • do not let pets into the house if possible – they can carry pollen indoors

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