When does hay fever season start? The 9 symptoms you could be suffering from right now

This Morning: Liz Earle gives hay fever remedy recommendations

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When pollen starts to travel through the air, hay fever patients are in trouble! Some people get mild hay fever symptoms, while others experience the allergic reaction so badly that it impacts their quality of life. Express.co.uk reveals the start date for hay fever season and the nine symptoms you might be experiencing right now.

Hay fever season is different across the world, depending on which pollen is released in which month.

A whole range of factors changes the start date of the pollen season, from winter temperatures and rainfall over the year.

In the UK, hay fever season kicks off with the release of tree pollen from late March to mid-May.

This means that hay fever season could be starting any day now, and you might already have symptoms.

However, not everyone is allergic to tree pollen, and so most people will not have symptoms yet.

Most people are allergic to grass pollen, which actually has two peaks.

Grass pollen hay fever season starts in mid-May and lasts until July, so we still have a while until the hay fever season is in full swing.

In England and Wales, grass pollen season normally peaks in the first two weeks of June and again in the first two weeks of July.

Weed pollen also causes hay fever, and it’s most commonly released between the end of June and September.

Hay fever symptoms overlap with Covid, common cold and flu symptoms, so it can be tricky to identify what your symptoms are right now.

In fact, up to 56 percent of people are anxious that others may mistake their hay fever symptoms for signs of COVID-19

The exact hay fever symptoms experienced depend on the time of year, where you live and what types of pollen you’re allergic to.

The symptoms will be more severe when the pollen count is higher, so you may find that the symptoms come and go or get progressively worse.

The main symptoms of hay fever are:

  • Itchy eyes/ throat
  • Sneezing
  • Blocked/runny nose
  • Watering, red eyes (allergic conjunctivitis)
  • Headaches
  • Blocked sinuses
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tiredness
  • The sensation of mucus running down the back of the throat, which can also be a symptom, is called ‘post-nasal drip’.

Unlike a cold, hay fever symptoms come on immediately after exposure to allergens.

Hay fever symptoms will last as long as you’re exposed to allergens, whereas a cold will last three to seven days.

You’ll know it’s hay fever if the symptoms start to come on during hay fever season, when you’re outside, or exposed to pollen when the pollen count is high.

You can check the pollen count forecast on the Met Office website here.

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