This Morning: Liz Earle gives hay fever remedy recommendations
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Hay fever is characterised by a number of unpleasant symptoms from watery eyes to sneezing and coughing and it normally lasts for weeks or months. It normally starts from childhood, but can it be developed later in life? Express.co.uk explains everything you need to know about randomly developing hay fever.
Can you develop hay fever?
Hay fever is an allergic reaction to pollen that normally happens when pollen comes into contact with your mouth, nose, eyes or throat.
Hay fever normally begins in childhood or during the teenage years, but it can start at any age.
If you’ve never had hay fever before but are experiencing symptoms, you might be wondering whether or not you can develop hay fever as an adult.
The answer is yes, according to the NHS and several other health sites.
Hay fever is an allergic response to allergens such as tree pollen, grass pollen, dust mites and more.
When you develop hay fever, your immune system identifies a normally harmless allergen as harmful and produces antibodies.
The next time you come into contact with the same allergens, your immune system releases chemicals such as histamine into your bloodstream.
This causes a reaction that leads to the classic hayfever symptoms such as a runny nose, itchy eyes, nose, roof of mouth or throat, fatigue and sneezing or coughing.
Experts aren’t sure why some people have this reaction to specific allergens.
However, you have an increased risk of developing hay fever at any point in your life – although, it is normally in childhood or teen years – if any of the following is true:
- You have other allergies or asthma
- You have atopic dermatitis (eczema)
- A blood relative (such as a parent or sibling) has allergies or asthma
- You live or work in an environment that exposes you to allergens
- Your mother smoked during your first year of life
The reason why you’ve got hayfever this year for the first time
New research from Allergy UK has found that millions of people may be experiencing hayfever for the first time in the past few years.
This is less to do with how old you are and more to do with the type of world we live in today.
More than a third (37 percent) of the 7000 respondents said they have developed hay fever symptoms for the first time in the last five years.
Amena Warner, Head of Clinical Services at Allergy UK, said: “There is evidence that suggests that climate change, with increasing temperatures, may contribute to extending the grass pollen season in the UK.
“Grass pollen is the cause of the majority of pollen driven hay fever symptoms.
“Furthermore, with warmer weather, pollen counts can be high, and the breeze can spread pollen over a large area as it is carried in the wind.”
On top of that, humans have increased the amount of CO2 and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
Ms Warner added: “Studies are showing that plants produce more pollen as a response to high atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide (CO2), and so people may also find that their hay fever is worse when pollution levels are high, especially in warm weather.
“These are the factors that lead us to expect rising pollen levels in the UK in the coming years, triggering the unpleasant symptoms of hay fever over longer periods.”
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