Spring is arriving with warmer weather and blooming plants. As the temperature increases, so does the number of people suffering from hay fever.

According to the University of Manchester, the rate of people with hay fever has increased by 33 per cent over the past 20 years, with 11 per cent of UK adults suffering from severe symptoms. 

Nurse Kumar said: “Hay fever irritates the skin, throat, eyes and nose.” When people who are allergic to pollen inhale or touch it, they experience symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, and itchy eyes."

Pollen is released by flowering plants into the air, or pollen is attached to insects such as bees.

This pollen is then carried to the same type of plant to fertilise them. This typically begins with tree pollen from late March.

However, this year, many complained of experiencing symptoms caused by pollen as early as February.

Climate change has already visibly impacted the UK, such as through our warmer winter and more frequent and intense weather extremes such as harsh rains.

These changes in weather patterns have also been seen to impact trees and flowers, which are blooming earlier than usual.

Environmental factors such as temperature, rain and wind affect pollen production and dispersion. 

These higher and longer-lasting temperatures therefore brought pollen season earlier, and it is likely to last longer.

Pollen spreads most easily on warm, dry days with some wind, and is at its peak from the late afternoon to early evening- a good time to stay indoors if you suffer from hay fever. Carbon dioxide has also been proven to increase pollen counts in urban areas.

On certain days, rain hinders pollen from spreading. However, the generally warmer weather ensures higher pollen production and spread.

As global warming continues, this trend of increasing pollen counts is expected to continue in future years.

  • This article was written by Caitlin DC, from Peter Symonds College, as part of Newsquest's Young Reporter Scheme.