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Why hay fever still affects you indoors

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Why hay fever still affects you indoors

By Ruth MacEachern

Product Manager

Jun 22, 2021

During the summer months, high levels of pollen from grass and flowers can cause daily misery for millions of hay fever sufferers in the UK.  Streaming eyes, sore throats and blocked noses are a daily occurrence, and sometimes it seems like there’s no escape – even if you stay indoors to avoid exposure.

What causes Hay Fever

Hay fever is an allergic reaction to pollen.  When pollen is inhaled or comes into contact with the eyes or nose, it triggers an immune response that causes the tissue to swell.  The severity of the allergic response can vary from person to person, and some people have an allergy to a specific plant’s pollen rather than being sensitive to all plants. 

There are two main peaks to the hay fever season.  Grass pollens are the main allergen from May through until late June, before other plants – weeds – release their pollens slightly later, usually running through into September.

During the summer months, the Met Office release a daily pollen count report which is based on the number of pollen grains per cubic metre of air that are detected around the country. 

On breezy days, pollen tends to be at its worst, as it is carried from the grass flowers and floats freely in the air. 

Why do you have hay fever symptoms indoors

Pollen grains are tiny – even the largest recorded grains are less than a fifth of a millimetre in diameter.  Their light weight means that even the lightest breeze can pick them up, and they can enter your home through almost any gap – around windows, doors, and even through your ventilation if it doesn’t have sufficiently small filters.

Pollen can also be carried into your home on shoes and clothing as well as on skin.  As a result sufferers of hay fever are advised to shower and wash their hair before going to bed, and change clothing in a bathroom to avoid bringing pollen into their bedrooms.

During the peak of the hay fever season, sufferers might not want to open their windows to avoid allowing larger amounts of pollen into their home.  As a result, the amount of pollen that is captured inside the house can rise over time to levels that are higher than would be found outside.

Preventing Hay Fever Symptoms indoors

Good air flow is the most effective way of reducing the amount of pollen indoors.  Positive Input Ventilation systems draw air through filters and disperse it throughout the house.  These filters are small enough to remove pollen.  As the fresh filtered air enters the building, it slowly pushes out the indoor air, taking some dust and pollen with it.

With an efficient ventilation system in place, the levels of pollen do not build up to a point where allergies are triggered.

Find out more

If you suffer from hay fever and find it difficult to escape from high pollen levels, please contact one of our local specialists today to arrange a free home survey.  They will be able to advise you about the best way to improve air flow in your home and reduce the risk of pollen levels building up in future.

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