Pollen count: High counts forecast in UK – the one thing hay fever sufferers should avoid

The pollen count has been forecast as high in London, the South West, the East Midlands and Northern Ireland today. For the rest of the UK the pollen count is moderate, according to the Met Office. For hay fever sufferers it’s likely these high pollen counts will trigger symptoms. So what can you do to manage hay fever in these conditions?

Avoid drying washing on a clothes-line outside when pollen counts are high

Allergy UK

According to Allergy UK there’s one thing you should always avoid.

It says: “Avoid drying washing on a clothes-line outside when pollen counts are high.”

The reason for this is pollen in the air can settle on clothes, and when you put these on this can trigger symptoms.

The national charity has two other tips to avoid allergic triggers.

It says: “Monitor pollen forecasts daily and stay indoors wherever possible when the count is high (generally on warmer, dry days).

“Rain washes pollen from the air so counts should be lower on cooler, wet days.

“On high pollen days, shower and wash your hair after arriving home and change your clothes.”

The NHS also offers tips for helping hay fever sufferers.

It lists:

  • Wear wraparound sunglasses to stop pollen getting into your eyes
  • Stay indoors whenever possible
  • Keep windows and doors shut as much as possible
  • Vacuum regularly and dust with a damp cloth
  • Buy a pollen filter for the air vents in your car and a vacuum cleaner with a special HEPA filter

The health body also advises avoiding:

  • Cutting grass or walking on grass
  • Not spending too much time outside
  • Not keeping fresh flowers in the hours
  • Not smoking or being around smoke, as it makes your symptoms worse

Over the years, some alternative ways to prevent hay fever have become popular, such as eating local honey, putting sticky balms around your nostrils and standing in front of an open fridge door.

But according to pollen expert Dr Jean Emberlin, these preventive methods aren’t effective. 

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