Doctor Hilary on the difference between covid and hay fever
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The warm temperatures and humidity are set to continue this week, with the mercury soaring to as high as 22C around London on Saturday afternoon, according to online weather forecaster Netweather. But with summer fast approaching, it means pollen levels could reach their highest so far this year, triggering sneezing fits, runny noses and itchy eyes for sufferers. Hay fever affects nearly 10 million people in England, of all ages – equal to almost one in four adults and one in 10 children.
The condition’s been exacerbated amid fears high street chemists could run out of some medication to counter it due to an industry-wide shortage of active ingredient chlorphenamine maleate.
The Met Office has forecast pollen levels will peak on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and will be slightly down on Wednesday to medium levels.
Tomorrow (May 10), there will be “high” levels of pollen in London and South East England; South West England; East of England, West Midlands and East Midlands.
The Met Office has noted for this highest level, tree pollen currently includes “oak, birch and a little grass pollen”.
The pollen levels drop slightly on Wednesday and will be at their highest in three areas of England – London and the South East; Yorkshire and Humber and the North East.
But the pollen levels return on Thursday, as five regions are predicted to experience “high” pollen levels.
This will affect London and South East England; South West England; East of England; West Midlands; East Midlands and Yorkshire and Humber.
However, Friday will see pollen levels surge to their highest point of the week, with nearly all of the UK heavily impacted.
High pollen levels will be felt in London and South East England; South West England; East of England; West Midlands, East Midlands; North West England; Yorkshire and Humber; North East England; Central Tayside and Fife in Scotland; Wales and Northern Ireland.
A Met Office spokesman told Express.co.uk: “Oak trees are currently major producers of pollen, and there’s now also a bit of grass pollen in the mix.
“The recent dry weather and fairly light winds means there’s been an opportunity for quite high levels to accumulate.
“This will continue to be the case more in southern and eastern parts of the UK for the next few days.
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“Rain in northern and western areas will lower levels a bit.”
The nightmare for sufferers doesn’t end there as amid fears UK high street chemists are running out of some hay fever medicine.
Boots said it has limited stocks of chlorphenamine maleate, the active ingredient in brands such as Piriton.
The popular high street chemist stocks more than 90 hay fever relief products, with only four impacted by the shortage.
A Boots spokesperson said: “There are a very small number of lines that are currently out of stock due to a current, industry-wide shortage of the active ingredient.
“However, we are expecting this to be resolved soon and new deliveries are expected in the coming weeks.”
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