Pollen levels this weekend could be ‘deadly’ for asthma and lung disease patients

Pollen expert advises hay fever sufferers

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Asthma and Lung UK has prompted patients with asthma and lung diseases to be careful this weekend. This comes as the Met Office warned of high pollen levels across most of England and Wales from Friday onwards.

Dr Andy Whittamore, clinical lead for Asthma and Lung UK, said: “When pollen levels are at their highest this can be deadly for those with lung conditions like asthma who can suffer serious symptoms and have life-threatening attacks.”

The charity explained that more than three million people in the UK suffer from lung conditions such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

These patients are at a higher risk of attacks or flare-ups when pollen levels soar.

If you’re not aware, asthma describes a common lung condition which triggers occasional breathing difficulties.

This condition targets people of all ages and often starts in your childhood, the NHS explains.

What’s worse, pollen can cause symptoms, including tight chest, wheezing and breathlessness in 59 percent of people living with asthma and 25 percent of those living with COPD, research by the charity shows.

While allergies can leave your airways tightening up, which can lead to sticky mucus build-up.

This can make it harder for you to breathe.

The highest pollen levels are set to appear across England and Wales.

The rest of the UK is expected to see medium levels of pollen.

How to lower risk of life-threatening attacks

Dr Whittamore said: “These attacks can leave people fighting for breath, which can be terrifying, but there are things they can do to look after themselves.

“Using your preventer inhalers as prescribed is important as the medicine reduces sensitivity and swelling in the airways, helping to prevent symptoms such as wheezing and coughing before they even start.

“We also advise people to carry their reliever inhalers every day, especially when they are out and about enjoying the sunshine in case pollen does cause a flare-up of their symptoms.

“Reliever inhalers quickly relax the muscles in the airways and ease symptoms immediately.

“The third thing people can do is to use a steroid nasal spray every day, together with non-drowsy antihistamine tablets to help stop the allergic reaction.

“People should also check pollen and air pollution forecasts in their local area, so they can avoid going outdoors as much as possible on high pollen days.”

The pollen bomb could also see an array of sneezing, runny noses and itching this weekend as hay fever sufferers can also be targeted.

Unfortunately, there’s currently a shortage of hay fever tablets across the country.

Although stocks might be limited, there are other hay fever reliefs that could help.

According to the NHS, when you decide to go out, you could:

  • Apply Vaseline around your nostrils to trap the culprit
  • Wear wraparound sunglasses 
  • Shower and change your clothes after spending time outdoors.

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