As February is just starting, the hay fever season is not far away now. This tends to begin around the end of March and extends into the late summer. One of the earliest pollens comes from Alder, Hazel and Yew and those with this kind of tree pollen allergies might already be getting symptoms. However, the actual grass pollen season will start in March, peak in June and July, and then ease off by September. Bournemouth and Poole tend to get a particularly high concentration of pollen in the air during the peak seasons, most likely due to the air currents by the coast.
Understanding the types of pollen and their peak times can significantly impact the daily lives of allergy sufferers in this region. Our pollen count tracker for example could be used to check the counts of the different types of pollen for today and tomorrow and plan your day accordingly.
Pollen Counts in Bournemouth
Pollen allergies, often referred to as hay fever, are triggered by the immune system’s reaction to pollen from trees, grasses, and weeds.
In Bournemouth, the diversity of flora means a variety of pollen types are present throughout the year. The primary exception here is the winter months of December to February which have minimal pollen in the air.
Weather patterns, such as rainfall and temperature variation also play a significant role in pollen counts and distribution. For example, warm, dry, and windy days will display higher pollen counts. This is expected as the wind sheds more of the pollen in the air, and the dry environment sustains this.
Making sense of these pollen patterns and how they relate to air quality in Bournemouth can help those living with pollen allergies.
Other factors such as traffic emissions, industrial activities, and even sea breezes that carry pollutants and pollen from other regions also affect the air quality in Bournemouth. Poor air quality days can exacerbate one’s allergy symptoms by increasing the irritant effect of pollen particles.
Top Tips for Managing Allergies for Bournemouth Residents
With so much information available at your fingertips nowadays, there are various steps you can take to better manage your allergy symptoms.
Monitor Pollen Counts
As mentioned already, staying informed about daily pollen levels can help you better plan ahead. High pollen days might require taking additional precautions to minimise exposure.
The pollen counts tend to be mentioned either on the local weather forecast or on dedicated pollen count services such as our pollen tracker.
Limit Outdoor Activities
If the pollen count is high on a particular day, try to limit your outdoor activities, especially during early morning and late afternoon when pollen release is at its peak. If you do decide to go out for a walk or exercise, try wearing sunglasses, a hat, and even a mask. These protective measures can help reduce pollen contact with the eyes, hair, and your respiratory tract.
Keep Windows Closed
We know it’s healthy to let fresh air into your home, but there’s also a downside to this. It particularly applies during the high pollen count days, especially when the weather conditions mean an increase in aeroallergens, as mentioned above.
Getting an air purifier with a HEPA filter for your living spaces could capture some of those indoor allergens that have made their way in. If you have air conditioning or a home ventilation system, make sure you change the air filters regularly.
Pollen and dust can quickly accumulate on the surface of the vents and filters, thus decreasing their efficiency.
Showering and changing clothes after being outdoors can help remove pollen from your body and clothes. This will reduce the amount of pollen, dust, or other pollutants that come off your clothes into your indoor air.
Walks Along the Beach
The beach promenade is very popular with both tourists and residents alike, especially during the peak season in the summer.
If you suffer from pollen allergies, a walk along the beach might be preferred to walking in The New Forest, due to the lower amounts of vegetation, and subsequently pollen sources.
There are of course other allergens, such. as potentially bees and wasps that are attracted to the beach area, so be mindful of these if you have a known allergy. Allergy to wasp stings can be especially dangerous and even life threatening if it leads to angioedema or anaphylaxis.
Lifestyle Modifications for a Healthier You!
Focusing on improving your diet and exercise is an effective way to combat allergy symptoms, offering a holistic approach to allergy. This works best when used alongside traditional medical treatments such as antihistamines and even immunotherapy.
A well-balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and omega-3 supplements can support the immune system and reduce inflammation, potentially alleviating the severity of allergy symptoms.
Foods naturally high in vitamin C, such as oranges, strawberries, and bell peppers, have natural antihistamine properties that can help in managing allergic reactions. Incorporating locally sourced honey into your diet could also help your body better adapt to the pollen in your area. Although there were some studies done in this respect, definitive scientific evidence on this practice varies.
A recent study looked at 40 patients with allergic rhinitis that were split into two groups. One group was given an antihistamine for 4 weeks, and another was administered daily honey. It was found that those ingesting the honey showed an improvement in the overall symptoms of allergic rhinitis at the end of the study. (source) It is important to note that there are several limitations and weaknesses of this study, so no concrete correlation can be drawn. Other studies have shown no improvement in symptoms at all. (source)
Regular exercise can also play a crucial role in managing allergies.
Physical activity is known to improve blood circulation, boost the immune system, and help with stress reduction. You may even find that all of these changes are indirectly reducing the severity of allergy symptoms.
The recommendation in the UK is for adults to undergo at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a week. This is best split into 5 sessions of aerobic exercise of about 30 minutes each.