09 Apr 2010 10:04:15
Climate change could exacerbate hay fever
The number of people suffering from hay fever is expected to soar over the next two decades as a result of pollution and climate change.
According to the Hay Fever Health Report, commissioned by Kleenex, half the UK population could have the condition by 2030.
Hay fever is a type of allergic reaction caused by pollen or spores and affects the nose, sinuses, throat and eyes, causing cold-like symptoms.
According to the NHS, around ten million people in England are currently affected by it, but the report suggests this could rise to 32 million 20 years from now.
Professor Jean Emberlin, author of the report, said growth in the UK's urban population will accentuate the natural rise in hay fever.
"Climate change will also impact upon the timing and severity of pollen seasons making them longer and more severe," she added.
Hay fever is more likely to occur in those with a family history of allergies, particularly asthma or eczema.http://www.kleenex.co.uk/UK/Products/Hayfever.aspx