Sufferers endure the longest hay fever season in more than two decades

 

Hay fever sufferers have been forced to endure the longest hay fever season in more than two decades, scientists said.

The hay fever season for people who suffer from grass allergies, accounting for about 80% of sufferers, has been about three weeks longer than usual.

Pollen counts are usually high between the start of June and the middle of July but this year they started early and went on for longer.

Dr Catherine Pashley, who works in the infection, immunity and inflammation department of the University of Leicester, said this summer has been "distressing" for people with hay fever, as symptoms including itchy eyes and runny noses have lasted longer than they usually would.

Scientists working in the Midlands measured the first day of "high count" grass pollen on May 25.

The hay fever season usually begins a week later at the start of June. The last time the season started this early was in 1991 when the first high pollen count day was on May 24.

"Through our association with the charity Midlands Asthma and Allergy Research Association (MAARA), we have pollen data for this region going back to 1968," said Dr Pashley.

"Using this we can see that we have only had three years that it has been this early."

The last "very high" grass count this year was on July 22, Dr Pashley said. The last time a "very high" grass pollen count occurred this late in the season was on July 23, 1985.

She said: "The season started early and finished late. People with hay fever have suffered over a prolonged period."

Dr Pashley said the interchanging wet and dry weather has led to the prolonged season.

"We had warm wet weather in late spring, which was conducive to grass growing and producing pollen," she said.

"When the flowers are mature in the early summer months, release and dispersal of pollen depends on dry weather, with the ideal for a high count being a warm day with a light wind.

"Rainfall will usually result in sharp decrease in airborne levels of grass pollen. Grass florets will remain shut on dull or wet days, with the pollen being released during the next dry period.

"Our summer has been interspersed with lots of wet days and a few dry sunny days which has resulted in the season starting early, and continuing longer, but having lots of low pollen days within it."

Hay fever symptoms are likely to be worse if the pollen count is high, it is classed as high when more than 50 grains of pollen are found in every cubic metre of air. It is categorised as "very high" when 150 or more grains of pollen are measured in every cubic metre of air.

PA

Suggested Topics
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    SThree: Recruitment Resourcer

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: Do you want to get in...

    Ashdown Group: Project Manager - Birmingham - up to £40,000 - 12 month FTC

    £35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Manager - Birmingham - ...

    SThree: Recruitment Consultant - IT

    £25000 - £30000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: Sthree are looking fo...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Dublin (based in London)

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + commission: SThree: Real Staffing's Pharmaceutical...

    Day In a Page

    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living
    Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

    Homeless people keep mobile phones

    A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before