Dr Mark Rosenthal


Consultant in Paediatric Respiratory Medicine

also specialist in Food Allergies & Disorders of Sleep

A | A | A

T: 0207 351 8754

E: s.harvey@rbht.nhs.uk

A:The Royal Brompton Hospital, London, SW3 6NP

Spring brings brighter weather and longer days, but it also brings with it some uncomfortable symptoms for those of us affected by seasonal allergies.


Spring Pollen

Plants are just beginning to release their pollen and the spring weather is helping it to spread. If you have hay fever, then springtime will often bring on coughing, sneezing, a runny nose and watery eyes. However, the time of year when your allergies appear will depend on which kind of pollen allergy you have. If you are allergic to tree pollen, then your symptoms are likely to peak in spring, while allergies to grass pollen will get worse as we head into summer. However, if you are unfortunate enough to be allergic to both kinds of pollen, you’ll be looking at a much longer allergy season.

The Worst Weather for Allergies

As well as being the time of year when plants start to produce their pollen, spring can also be a bad time for allergies because of the change in weather. A cold winter or a late spring can be a good thing for allergy sufferers as it stalls pollen production. Once the weather warms up, plants start pumping out pollen. The weather often gets a bit drier in spring too, which can exacerbate the problem. Rain can weigh pollen down and wash it away, clearing the air for a while, so wet weather can provide relief from hay fever. The third weather factor that affects allergies is the wind. The wind can carry pollen for miles, so it can be impossible to escape it completely, even if you try to avoid the plants that trigger your hay fever. Warm, dry, breezy days in spring can be the worst for allergies.

If you or your child has a seasonal allergy, then make sure you are prepared as we head into the warmer months. Have your medication ready, keep an eye on the pollen count, and try to stay inside when it gets too high.

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