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Hay Fever Sufferers Warned About 'Thunder Fever' As Heatwave Hits

Lucy Devine

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Hay Fever Sufferers Warned About 'Thunder Fever' As Heatwave Hits

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Brits could be set to experience another 'thunder fever' this week, with stormy weather forecast for the weekend.

While this week could see the hottest June day in 40 years, those who struggle with hay fever could be set to suffer, with a combination of high pollen and thunderstorms leading to a so-called 'thunder fever'.

Last week, Brits were warned against the weather phenomenon after Storm Alex - along with a high pollen count - prompted warnings about extreme hay fever.

Airborne allergens expert Max Wiseberg told the Daily Star: "With this fine weather, thunderstorms are also predicted and they can bring problems for hay fever sufferers.

Brits could be set to experience another 'thunder fever' this week. Credit: Alamy
Brits could be set to experience another 'thunder fever' this week. Credit: Alamy

"Very high pollen counts are predicted across many parts of England from Thursday onwards, causing havoc for the millions of hay fever sufferers in the UK.

"Predicted thunderstorms won't give respite, as instead they can cause a phenomenon known as 'thunder fever'."

With hot weather, high pollen count, and more stormy weather scheduled over the coming week, sufferers are being warned to take extra precautions.

Wiseberg added: "According to a report in The European Respiratory review, humidity breaks pollen grains into smaller allergenic particles.

"These new pollen grains turn into a kind of 'super pollen', and this appears to be more allergenic than normal pollen, causing more severe reactions in sufferers.

Sufferers are being warned to take extra precautions. Credit: Alamy
Sufferers are being warned to take extra precautions. Credit: Alamy

"Storms bring pollen grains down which might have otherwise risen above head height out of harm's way and whipping up pollen grains and fungal spores near the ground."

According to the Met Office, very high pollen levels are expected in many areas of the UK this week, including London, the South East, South West, the Midlands, the North West and Yorkshire. You can find out more about the pollen count in your area here.

On Friday (10 June), Allergy UK tweeted advice to those suffering, explaining: "With high pollen counts predicted over the weekend, nasal steroid sprays can help to reduce the inflammation/swelling & reduce symptoms like sneezing, itching and a runny nose. It's important that they're used correctly to get the maximum benefit."

Earlier this month, when the pollen count was particularly high, Asthma and Lung UK urged sufferers to keep their preventer and reliever inhalers on-hand to prevent asthma attacks or flare-ups.

Pollen can see those with asthma or COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) suffer from a tight chest, and shortness of breath and a wheeze or a cough.

Clinical lead for Asthma and Lung UK, Dr Andy Whittamore warned that a high pollen count can be "deadly" to those who suffer with lung conditions.

Urging people to stay vigilant, he suggested: "Using your preventer inhalers as prescribed is important as the medicine reduces sensitivity and swelling in the airways.

"We also advise people to carry their reliever inhalers every day, especially when they are out and about enjoying the sunshine in case pollen does cause a flare-up of their symptoms.

According to the Met Office, very high pollen levels are expected in many areas of the UK this week. Credit: Alamy
According to the Met Office, very high pollen levels are expected in many areas of the UK this week. Credit: Alamy

"The third thing people can do is to use a steroid nasal spray every day, together with non-drowsy antihistamine tablets to help stop the allergic reaction."

While there is no known cure or preventative measure for hay fever, there are a number of tips recommended by the NHS that can help to ease symptoms.

These include, staying indoors and keeping windows shut when possible if pollen counts are high, putting Vaseline around your nostrils, wearing wraparound sunglasses, buying a pollen filter for the air vents in your car, and vacuuming and dusting regularly.

Topics: Health, Life

Lucy Devine
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