News

Unpredictable UK weather causes upside down hay fever

27th April, 2018

From the bitterly cold, sub-zero temperature snow storms of the Beast from the East to the sweltering, sunny Mediterranean climate of Spring, the last few weeks has been a real lesson in how unpredictable and contrasting the UK’s weather can be. From keeping warm in the icy conditions it changed last week to keeping ice cool in the car under the hot sun!  And now it seems we are entering a period of soggy dampness which pleases no-one except the farmers!

Allergy worsens at wrong times of day
And the changing weather we are having seems to be the cause of a new health phenomenon. Whilst normally you would associate hay fever with warmer, sunnier weather, it appears that a new airborne allergy has been uncovered, that of upside-down hay fever.

Under normal circumstances, you would expect hay fever to calm down when the sunshine disappears and it rains, but for some, it’s actually the reverse.

It seems that sufferers of upside-down hay fever typically experience their symptoms at the wrong time. When it’s sunny and there’s lots of pollen, symptoms can actually reduce. But on rainy days, they can be at their worst.

Rain cools the air and lowers the pollen to head height
Hay fever sufferers are usually advised to avoid going out in the morning and evening when pollen levels are high. That is because grass releases pollen in the morning and, as the ground heats, the air rises, taking the pollen with it.

When the pollen is lifted to head height is when people suffer the most. But later on, the air rises, taking the pollen with it above head height. In the evening, everything cools, so the air sinks, bringing the pollen back to head height again.

That is fine for a normal, dry Spring or Summer’s day, but, if it rains after the pollen has risen above head height, the air cools, and the rain and air movement bring the pollen down to head height and the hay fever symptoms back to those who suffer.

Night time hay fever on super-hot days
And, on a super-hot day like we had last week, air rises earlier in the morning, taking the pollen with it. By the time people are up and outside, the pollen is already higher than head height and they are not affected. And because the air is so warm, it doesn’t cool and bring the pollen down to earth until after dark, but if hay fever sufferers are outside that’s when they could be hit with symptoms again. And that is upside-down hay fever for you.

Hay fever medication can impair driving skills
There is a serious note though to consider and that’s when hay fever could make you unfit to drive. A survey by a car insurance comparison website found that 64% of sufferers admitted to driving after taking medication, with 55% stating that they felt drowsy and 4% admitting they had been involved in a road accident as a result of driving after taking hay fever medication.

Don’t let the unpredictable winter weather affect your premises
UK winters have witnessed huge extremes in temperatures and conditions which accelerates the wear and tear on your premises. So, when the icy weather sets in at your premises, you don’t want them to be badly affected, endangering pedestrians and vehicles alike. We undertake an inspection of each site we manage before making a gritting plan that will ensure the smooth-running of your premises even when it snows. Make sure that your winter maintenance is organised by calling us today on 01728 633900 for a quote tailored to your needs.

Upside down hay fever is bringing misery to many in the UK

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