50% more people have hay fever this year

I think you’ll all agree, this year has been an incredible summer so far. I love England in the sun, it’s like being on holiday and the feeling of the sun warming the skin is one of my favourite things. But if that warm, dry weather brings with it clouds of pollen, spring and summer can be miserable for those who have hay fever.

I’ve noticed that just in my circle of friends and allergy community many of us have seen a worsening in symptoms, terrible hay fever and also loads of people getting it for either the first time or the first time in years.

A recent study revealed that there has indeed been quite a staggering rise.

Read ‘Spike in summer hay fever cases’,

The article begins by stating that, “Hay fever cases in England have reached their highest level so far this year, and are just under 50% higher compared to this time in 2016, the latest weekly figures from the Royal College of General Practitioners’ Research and Surveillance Centre show.”

That’s a 230% increase… but what’s the reason?

  1. Warmer drier weather for the seasons means more pollen
  2. Hay fever seasons seem to be extending, trees pollinate more for longer
  3. Very little rain to soak up the pollen – so it’s dry and stays on the surface to blow around
  4. More city landscaping, trapping pollen on hard surfaces
  5. Trends toward more decking and hard floors in gardens – pollen is absorbed into soil
  6. Council planting strategies favour high pollen trees over fruiting (less mess to clear up)
  7. Five year trends do see spikes in symptom cycles like this
  8. And I could go on…

I plan to produce a blog about why this is happening shortly, the article above, whilst very interesting, doesn’t offer any insight into why this phenomon is occuring or what you can do if you’re one of the many people who have severe hay fever. If you’re like me, you want answers, you want to understand why, so you can at least reassure yourself you’re not to blame. Your super immune system is just over reacting again in a quite spectacular way. It’s being quite clever really so do be proud of your body. It’s trying to help you out, it’s just failing rather miserably to do so…

I learnt loads about this last year when I was on Country File Diaries in a hay fever special. You can read the top 20 things I learnt here in 20 things you can do to reduce your hay fever...

So there could be many factors, leaving us still with no real cure or treatment. Anti histamines and sprays and eye drops do help but they only take the edge off the symptoms.

For more help, tips and ideas to help you reduce your symptoms, please read my other hay fever blogs here.
For those who crave an active outdoor lifestyle it’s time to man up and get out there. Go prepared and take whatever precautions you can because this super pollen is nasty and it’s out to get you!

Please also listen to me on 5 Live talking to Sam Walker and Chris Warburton on Sunday Breakfast about this very phenomenon.

BBC Radio 5 Live - Sunday Breakfast covers hay fever

BBC Radio 5 Live – Sunday Breakfast covers hay fever

Listen live for 27 days

Has your hay fever been worse? or have you or your child just got it for the first time this year?

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About Ruth

Ruth works freelance as a copywriter and writes the What Allergy blog to share information with people who have allergies, eczema, asthma and food intolerances. http://www.whatallergy.com was voted in the top 5 allergy blogs and Ruth also judges regularly for the FreeFrom Food Awards and FreeFrom Skincare Awards. She also won the Foods You Can People's choice Best FreeFrom blogger award 2014.


  1. Daryl jackson says:

    I live in the US and yes I have been new to this allergy thing I am about four years in and it make me miserable some days. I also suffer from chronic rhinitis which does not help matters. Realizing that my super immune symptom is what overreacting has been one thing I am trying to understand.Thank you for that paragraph on the immune system. It is easy to think some thing is wrong with me especially when the immune systems goes in over drive. So it is not the U.K. I believe this global wide. Anything u can help me with please post. At this time I am doing it all medicine wise with no long term relief

    • Hi Daryl, I think you’re probably right. Not just a UK thing, and probably global. We can’t stop it so we have to learn to live with it. If you’re in the US, can you get allergy shots? In the UK it’s quite expensive to get and because I have asthma too doctors won’t consider it. Duh… the allergies cause the asthma, seems dumb right? Go figure. I’ve gone all American. I have found many little things but you really just have to get through it. But try this one: http://whatallergy.com/2016-05/20-things-you-can-do-to-reduce-hay-fever-symptoms

      • Birgit Ditto says:

        Hi, Ruth is there any way you can contact me. I would like to share a video with you. I think I found something that could help people relieve their symptoms without medication. If you want to learn more about it after watching the video we can talk and I can answer all your questions.

  2. Jacquie says:

    Please can I add, along with pollen, Mould spores, which are endemic at this time of year. Please look at Aerobiology Unit at University of Worcester website who publish pollen and mould counts. Symptoms are similar but one can become very unwell .Dry spores are released in large quantities in hot dry weather and humid nights. xx Jacquie

  3. If you would like to listen to the Radio 5 Live coverage about the rise in hay fever patients, It was broadcast on Sunday 2nd July at about 6.50am… nice and early. But it was a very good piece, well delivered and some good advice. Never enough time though so you’ll have to read all my blogs for all the information.

  4. Go here to listen and scroll to about minute 6.53 http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08wmvy4

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