People with asthma urged to take precautions because pollen…

Map reveals Britain’s biggest hay fever hotspots: Met Office warns of high pollen levels from TODAY – as experts say it could be ‘deadly’ for millions of asthma and lung disease patients

  • Met Office predicts high levels across England and Wales today, Saturday
  • Pollen levels remain high in Wales through Sunday, but fall slightly in England
  • Over 3 million people in the UK have lung conditions that can have flare-ups

Millions of Britons with asthma, lung disease or hay fever have been warned that high pollen levels this weekend could put them at risk.

The Met Office predicts high levels in every area of ​​England and Wales for today and Saturday, with average levels in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Pollen levels are expected to remain high in Wales through Sunday, but are forecast to drop to average in every part of England except the south west.

The charity Asthma and Lung UK said more than three million people in the UK have lung conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), who are at risk for seizures or flare-ups.

People are urged to ensure that they continue to use their preventative inhalers if they are using them and to keep the inhaler with them at all times.

Other tips include staying indoors on pollen-heavy days and keeping an eye on the weather forecast to check the forecast.

According to research from the charity, pollen can cause symptoms such as tightness in the chest, wheezing and shortness of breath in more than half of people with asthma (59 percent) and in more than a quarter of people with COPD.

The Met Office predicts high levels in every area of ​​England and Wales today and Saturday

Average levels are expected in Scotland and Northern Ireland on Saturday

Average levels are expected in Scotland and Northern Ireland on Saturday

Pollen levels are expected to remain high in Wales through Sunday, but are expected to drop to average in every area of ​​England except the South West

Pollen levels are expected to remain high in Wales through Sunday, but are expected to drop to average in every area of ​​England except the South West

Asthma attacks can be deadly, with around four people in the UK dying from one each day.

Allergies can cause the airways to tighten and sticky mucus to form, making it harder to breathe.

Hay fever tablets are running out across the country due to shortage of ingredients

Hay fever tablets are running low across the country due to a shortage of ingredients — and the timing couldn’t be worse as pollen levels soar.

Stocks of chlorphenamine maleate – an active ingredient in Piriton medications and other similar remedies – are generally limited.

Piriton tablets for adults are out of stock online from Boots, Lloyds Pharmacy and Coop Pharmacy, although their syrups for children are still available.

It comes as drug shortages in England reach their worst ever level, also hitting HRT, steroids and blood pressure medicines.

About 500,000 patients in England are stung by shortages attributed to rising raw material costs, post-Brexit trade rule changes and Covid lockdowns in China.

The shortages appear to be only in medications containing chlorphenamine maleate, while other types of antihistamines are more readily available.

Obviously, cetirizine hydrochloride tablets are widely available, including Allacan, Benadryl, Piriteze, and private label variants.

Both cetirizine and chlorphenamine can be used to treat hay fever, but people often find it more appropriate for them, the NHS says.

Medications that use cetirizine hydrochloride are less likely to cause a person to feel drowsy as a side effect.

dr. Andy Whittamore, clinical chief for Asthma and Lung UK, said: ‘When pollen levels are at their highest, it can be fatal for people with lung conditions such as asthma who can have severe symptoms and have life-threatening attacks.

“These attacks can leave people fighting for breath, which can be terrifying, but there are things they can do to take care of themselves.

‘Using your preventative inhalers as prescribed is important because the medicine reduces tenderness and swelling in the airways, preventing symptoms such as wheezing and coughing before they even start.

‘We also advise people to have their inhalers with them every day, especially when they are outside and enjoying the sun in case pollen flares up their symptoms.

‘Reliever inhalers quickly relax muscles in the airways and relieve symptoms immediately.

“The third thing people can do is use a steroid nasal spray every day along with non-drowsy antihistamines to stop the allergic reaction.

“People should also check pollen and air pollution forecasts in their area so that they get outside as much as possible on pollen-heavy days.”

High pollen levels can also cause misery for millions of people with hay fever, who suffer from runny noses and itchy eyes.

Hay fever can last for weeks or months, unlike a cold, which normally clears up within a week.

Hay fever symptoms begin when immune cells, B lymphocytes, mistakenly identify pollen proteins as a threat and make antibodies that activate chemicals called histamines.

These cause the blood vessels to widen, releasing fluid from the capillaries, leading to a runny nose, sneezing and watery eyes.

There is currently no cure and hay fever tablets are running out across the country due to a shortage of ingredients.

Stocks of chlorphenamine maleate – an active ingredient in Piriton medications and other similar remedies – are generally limited.

Piriton tablets for adults are out of stock online from Boots, Lloyds Pharmacy and Coop Pharmacy, although their syrups for children are still available.

But the NHS says there are things people can do to ease their symptoms when pollen counts are high this weekend.

They include applying petroleum jelly around your nostrils to trap pollen, wearing wraparound sunglasses to prevent pollen from entering the eyes, and showering and changing after going outside to wash off the pollen.

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