Hay fever cases in England and Wales have more than doubled since this time last year, new figures show.
Statistics from the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) reveal a huge spike in the number of patients seeing their GP for hay fever type symptoms or allergic rhinitis. Some 11,873 saw their GP about hayfever in the second week in June in England and Wales compared to only 5,560 people at the same time last year.
This represents a mammoth 114% jump from the same time last year.
Figures from the RCGP’s Research and Surveillance Centre - which monitors trends in diseases through patient consultations at GP surgeries - show a three-fold increase in hay fever in the second week of June, compared to the previous week and a five-fold increase in the past fortnight.
Dr Maureen Baker, chair of the RCGP said: “Each year, seasonal hay fever causes untold misery to thousands of people across the country, especially when we all want to enjoy the warm weather.
“Hay fever is awful but the discomfort should only be temporary and there should be no long-term effects. Whilst in some cases it may be necessary to see a doctor, especially if the symptoms persist, there are many anti-histamine medications that can be bought over the counter at your pharmacist that should provide effective relief.
"Patients that suffer from hay fever can also take simple steps to help minimise their exposure to pollen, such as wearing a hat with a wide brim and sunglasses, and to applying Vaseline to nostrils to help trap pollen particles.”