HAY fever sufferers are enduring a pollen bomb leaving many with sneezing fits and streaming eyes.
The Met Office warned allergen levels were “very high” across most of the UK.
Hay fever sufferers are being hit by a pollen bomb this week leaving many with sneezing fits and streaming eyes[/caption]
The recent hot spell has caused plants to release exceptionally high amounts of pollen, triggering people’s reactions.
A high heat yellow alert has been issued across all regions of England – and is in place until Monday.
He said: “Even if you don’t have hay fever yourself, approximately one in five people in the UK experience this condition so you’re probably aware of the common symptoms.
“These include a runny, itchy or blocked nose, sneezing, itchy or watery red eyes, and an itchy throat.
“You may have just one or two of these symptoms or the whole list.”
However, some symptoms of the condition may be less obvious and seem more like a sign of winter viruses like colds, or even Covid.
Mr Patel said: “Although less common, there are some more surprising symptoms of hay fever such as excessive sweating and loss of taste and smell.
“As the pollen count rises, it’s important the public recognise these unusual symptoms.”
UNUSUAL SIGNS OF HAY FEVER
1. Excessive sweating
Hay fever is usually worse in hot conditions, with plants releasing more pollen as temperatures rise.
This means it can be difficult to spot an unusual sign of the condition — sweating.
The symptom is also common with a nasty cold, Covid or the flu, so can easily go undetected.
Mr Patel said: “Sweating more than usual can be an embarrassing symptom of hay fever.
“Excessive sweating can be caused by stress, pain or when your immune system is vulnerable – all factors which can occur in hay fever.”
2. Loss of smell and taste
Another surprising symptom of hay fever is losing your sense of smell.
Mr Patel said: “Although less common, loss of smell can be a symptom of hay fever.
“Also known as anosmia, inflammation in the nasal passages can impact our sense of smell.
“This is the body’s way of limiting the amount of pollen that reaches the nose.
“As taste and smell are linked, if you experience anosmia, you are also likely to notice some loss of taste too.”
He added: “Of course, a loss or change in your sense of taste or smell is a symptom of Covid-19.
“Therefore, you should consider testing or staying at home and avoiding contact with others if you also have a high temperature or do not feel well enough to carry out normal activities.”
3. Headaches and migraines
Suffering a headache is often an early sign you’re about to suffer a cold.
But the painful symptom can also be caused by hay fever.
Mr Patel said: “There is also a link between headaches and hay fever.
“Sinus inflammation can cause a build-up of pressure which results in a sinus headache.
“This tends to feel as if there is intense pressure inside the head or behind the eyes.
“The histamines released during a hay fever account can also give rise to migraines.”
4. Face pain
Hay fever doesn’t just cause itchiness and your nose — it can cause your cheeks and forehead to be in pain.
Mr Patel said: “Many people don’t realise that hay fever can cause pain around the cheeks, eyes and forehead.
“When you have hay fever, the small air-filled cavities behind the cheekbones and forehead can become inflamed or blocked.
“This pressure can cause facial pain.”
Experts warned last week the surge in pollen would also be a problem for asthma sufferers.
The breathlessness associated with the condition is also a common sign of Covid, so can be mistaken for the virus.
Mr Patel said: “If you have asthma, you may find hay fever worsens symptoms like wheezing and breathlessness.
“In fact, some people also find they only experience asthma symptoms during hay fever season.
“People with hay fever are also much more likely to develop asthma.”