Mapped: Pollen in your area as hay fever sufferers warned of deadly surge

A charity has warned high pollen levels could be dangerous to asthma and COPD sufferers

Lucy Skoulding
Thursday 15 June 2023 10:04 BST
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<p>The Met Office has issued a red warning for pollen in some parts of the UK (Picture: AFP via Getty Images) </p>

The Met Office has issued a red warning for pollen in some parts of the UK (Picture: AFP via Getty Images)

A charity has warned people with lung conditions that ‘very high’ pollen levels this week could lead to hospitalisations and deaths.

The Met Office has shared a red warning for hay fever sufferers, showing that pollen counts will rise throughout the week.

Its map shows the UK areas that will be hardest hit with very high pollen levels. England and Wales will be the worst off, but levels will also be high in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Asthma + Lung UK, a charity focusing on lung health, has warned that such high pollen levels could pose a serious risk to people with lung conditions.

In particular, it shared how pollen can be a major trigger for people with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and asthma.

Campaigners have said that the very high pollen levels could be ‘deadly’ to asthma sufferers as it may leave them struggling to breath.

Nearly half (47.1 per cent) of the five million people in Britain who have asthma and more than a quarter of COPD sufferers are triggered by pollen, according to the charity.

The Met Office has issued red, amber and yellow warnings for pollen levels across the UK this week (Picture: Met Office/OpenMapTiles)

The Met Office’s red warnings cover most areas of England including Yorkshire and Humberside, the North West, the West Midlands, London the East of England and the South East and South West. It also covers Wales.

Pollen levels will also be high in the North East of England and parts of Scotland including the Highlands, Dumfries and Galloway and the Lothian Borders, as well as Northern Ireland.

Emma Rubach, Asthma + Lung’s head of health advice, told the Mail: “High pollen levels can be very dangerous for people with conditions like asthma, bringing on serious symptoms like wheezing and breathlessness.’

Hay fever can trigger people with COPD or asthma

“They can prompt asthma attacks which can be terrifying, leaving them fighting to breathe. This can be deadly and around four people already die in the UK each day from an asthma attack.”

The charity has advised anyone who does have asthma or COPD to carry their inhaler wherever they go and to book a doctor’s appointment if they feel their symptoms getting “much worse”.

It comes as very warm weather is set to continue across the majority of the UK this week after temperatures hit highs of 32C on Sunday, the hottest day of the year so far.

This weekend saw the hottest day of 2023 so far with temperatures reaching 32C

Temperatures went above 30C over the weekend in parts of the UK for the first time since August 2022, the Met Office said.

However, large parts of the UK face warnings for thunderstorms with lightning strikes and torrential downpours forecast on Monday.

The Independent has contacted Asthma + Lung UK for a comment.

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