Home Health News Are you able to get hay fever in February or is the pollen depend too low?

Are you able to get hay fever in February or is the pollen depend too low?

Are you able to get hay fever in February or is the pollen depend too low?


pollen plant

Hay fever is already frequent throughout the spring and summer season months, however our altering local weather may see some signs beginning earlier within the 12 months for allergy victims throughout the UK. Recent studies counsel that some sorts of pollen and different allergens may very well be launched earlier within the 12 months and for longer durations as temperatures rise. For some sorts of pollen, this may occasionally imply ranges excessive sufficient to set off hay fever as early within the 12 months as January or February.

What’s pollen?

Pollen grains are tiny particles produced by flowering vegetation for reproductive functions; some vegetation switch pollen to different flowers of the identical sort by the use of bugs, whereas many depend on wind to hold pollen grains by means of the air to their vacation spot.

Pollen incorporates proteins and a big variety of folks have an allergic response to those proteins (mostly hay fever, but in addition allergic bronchial asthma and eczema).

Within the UK it’s estimated that yearly thousands and thousands of individuals really feel the ill-effects of pollen publicity.

The pollen season within the UK has historically had 3 distinct however overlapping phases:

  • From about March till Could, the blossoming of bushes corresponding to hazel and birch creates the primary wave of signs for some pollen allergy victims.
  • From Could till July grass pollen kinds the majority of the UK’s pollen load.
  • Weed pollen (corresponding to dock and mugwort) begins to happen from June and may final properly into the autumn.

Research suggests that with growing temperatures, oak and grass pollen seasons could begin even earlier, which means that some allergy victims may start to expertise hay fever and different reactions as early as January/February.

What’s going to local weather change do to pollen patterns within the UK?

The Health Effects of Climate Change in the UK report, revealed on the finish of 2023, listed numerous ways in which climate change is likely to have an impact on our lives. It’s doubtless a altering local weather will impression pollen patterns in not less than 3 methods:

  1. A altering local weather will imply modifications in temperature and rainfall could lengthen the UK pollen season and probably make pollen concentrations increased;
  2. It’s potential that local weather change will result in modifications within the efficiency of pollen – a single pollen particle can have various quantities of the allergy inflicting agent on it;
  3. The UK can also be dealing with a risk from modifications within the geographical distribution of allergenic vegetation, as a consequence of local weather change, with invasive species corresponding to ambrosia (frequent ragweed) being on the watch listing. A single ragweed plant can produce a billion grains of pollen per season and its pollen causes robust allergic reactions.

Can analysis assist hay fever/bronchial asthma victims?

UKHSA, the Met Workplace and a number of other universities collaborate on researching varied facets of pollen.

Analysis means that cautious slicing regimes of grass may make a big distinction to the quantity of grass pollen produced, with extra work wanted on this space to search out out the well being impression of such a change.

Seeking to enhance pollen forecasts utilizing molecular genetics (i.e. DNA sequencing) will give extra exact data to allergy victims, who already know which sorts of grass pollens have an effect on them and when, to allow them to take acceptable motion.

There’s at the moment no simple method of distinguishing between the pollen grains produced by 150 species of grass, nonetheless understanding which species of grass pollens are within the air in excessive portions at a specific time will permit folks with hay fever and/or bronchial asthma to higher handle their allergy symptoms and drugs.

It could assist folks to find which explicit sorts of grass pollen they’re reacting to.

Maps developed as a part of a joint Met Workplace/UKHSA mission, present the areas of key allergenic vegetation. They’re utilized by well being researchers to review impacts of vegetation with allergenic pollen on hospital admissions for respiratory circumstances, present data to native authorities and healthcare practitioners, and are useful to sufferers affected by allergy symptoms.

It is hoped that sooner or later extra detailed supply maps can be utilized, alongside wind route and precipitation patterns, to supply improved native warnings to victims with data on the sort(s) and concentrations of pollen inside their space.

Tackling pollen with knowledge

The Met Workplace, working with the College of Worcester’s National Pollen and Aerobiological Unit, has a community of pollen monitoring stations, which suck right into a sampler containing sticky tape to seize the pollen. The tape is then positioned beneath a microscope and the pollen particles are counted.

If researchers can enhance the standard of details about the sort and seasonal incidence of pollen that’s offered to well being care professionals, then they’ll higher plan therapy and medical trials for treatments.

Good-phone apps may help pollen victims by giving them particular person forecasts and permitting customers to suggestions to the information suppliers.

There’s additionally a necessity for methods to watch and, the place potential, include the unfold of invasive species (corresponding to ragweed), to minimise future pollen dangers to the UK inhabitants.

Longer and extra intense pollen seasons are one thing that we’re starting to expertise within the UK. So, if you end up sniffling and rubbing your eyes in February, your signs may very properly be brought on by hay fever.

Picture: Clare Bell



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