More than 20 million people could suffer hay fever this summer as unusually high levels of pollen sweep across the UK.
Grass pollen, which is the worst culprit for causing symptoms and affects 95% of sufferers, is set to reach its peak.
The Met Office warned that pollen levels have been unusually high in recent weeks and are set to be high on Sunday and Monday, with England worst hit, particularly London, the South East, the East of England, the East Midlands and the South West.
The NHS has joined the Met Office to work on research to help identify the grass pollen types that cause the most allergies, to help sufferers manage their condition.
Record numbers of people are suffering from hay fever, with allergic rhinitis the most common form of non-infectious rhinitis, affecting up to 30% of adults and as many as 40% of children.
Grass is the most common cause of hay fever in the UK and there are more than 150 species in the UK.
Researchers in Australia found that alcoholic drinks, especially wine, can make hay fever much worse.
Alcohol can prompt allergic reactions including rhinitis, itching, facial swelling, headache, coughing and asthma.
They found that many people are sensitive to a variety of drinks including wine, beer and spirits – and yes, that includes gin, RSVP Live reports.
In the surveys of asthmatics, more than 40 per cent reported the triggering of allergic or allergic-like symptoms following alcoholic drink consumption and 30 to 35 per cent reported worsening of their asthma.
They say that it’s the sensitivity to the ethanol in alcohol itself that can trigger adverse responses.
The main researchers said: “Wine is clearly the most commonly reported trigger for adverse responses. Sensitivities to wine appear to be due mainly to pharmacological intolerances to specific components, such as biogenic amines and the sulphite additives.
“Histamine in wine has been associated with the triggering of a wide spectrum of adverse symptoms, including sneezing, rhinitis, itching, flushing, headache and asthma.
“The sulphite additives in wine have been associated with triggering asthmatic responses.
“Clinical studies have confirmed sensitivities to the sulphites in wine in limited numbers of individuals, but the extent to which the sulphites contribute to wine sensitivity overall is not clear.”
Maybe try a green tea instead this summer?
Source : BirminghamMail