The Pleasant Spring and the Unpleasant Pollen

Temperatures across the UK and Europe have begun to soar. Naturally a lot of people want to get outdoors more and plan trips or activities accordingly. The pleasant spring brings a refreshing break after the cold, restrictive winter. Alas that also marks the start of the hay fever season.

As warmer temperatures set in, pollination also picks up pace. Pollen allergy in spring is known to spare only a tiny percentage of the UK population. Hence we find that pollen forecasts make an important element of the weather forecasts. For instance in 2011, Cardiff weather forecasts reported a high presence of grass pollen especially in the months of June and July that cost Welsh businesses millions, courtesy of hay fever. Wales was then a pollen hotspot overall.

Understanding Timing and Symptoms

Pollen in the air can be felt generally during the warmer months mostly during the daytime; typically from spring to late fall peaking around July to end of summer. There are three kinds – trees, weeds and grass pollen – the last one being the most common culprit. Symptoms of the allergic reaction also known as allergic rhinitis, varying from person to person, and also pet to pet, can be:

• Sneezing and coughing with clogged or runny nose

• Itchy eyes, nose and throat

• Allergic shiners such as dark under-eye circles

• Watering eyes

• Conjunctivitis

Pets tend to show symptoms in slightly different ways such as –

• Itching, scratching and biting their fur, paws and ears

• Licking or chewing those affected areas

• Moist, red and itchy skin

• Itchy runny eyes

• Possible vomiting or diarrhea

Prevention and Coping Up

Immunologists are working hard today as Europe weather forecasts reveal that 2013 pollen levels are set to be highest so far. Technology too is being developed to gauge the pollen levels in an area before setting foot there. While innovation and medicine continue towards making it easier on the allergy sufferers, personal measures could make a vast…

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