Edinburgh's pollen count expected to be uncomfortably high this week

Hay fever sufferers in Edinburgh may not have an enjoyable week ahead thanks to a very high pollen count.

Tuesday, 24th July 2018, 12:07 pm
Updated Tuesday, 24th July 2018, 12:12 pm
Grassy Holyrood Park is a spot to avoid in Edinburgh this week, due to a high grass pollen count (Photo: Shutterstock)

Grass pollen will be abundant in the city’s air throughout the next five days. However, levels of tree and weed pollen are low.

The pollen count is expected to be high today (Tuesday 24 July) in Scotland’s capital, as well as on Thursday, Friday and Sunday. It will drop to a moderate level on Wednesday and Saturday.

Edinburgh’s hay fever hotspots

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Thanks to its many green spaces, Edinburgh tends to be a pollen hotspot in the spring and summer months. Areas where those with allergies may feel particular discomfort include Princes Street Gardens, Corstorphine Hill, the Meadows and the Royal Botanic Garden.

As two of the biggest areas of grassland in Edinburgh, Holyrood Park and the Meadows are certainly spots for hay fever sufferers in the city to avoid this week.

Pollen seasons

There are different seasons for the three main types of pollen. Tree pollen (which includes birch, cypress, oak and more) is most common between late March and mid-May.

Grass pollen rears its head during mid-May and July, while weed pollen (such as nettle and dock) affects most people between the end of June and September.

How to cope with hay fever symptoms

One in five people in the UK suffer from hay fever, and 95 per cent of them are allergic to grass pollen, according to the Met Office.

Antihistamines are helpful for treating mild cases of hay fever, but you may wish to consult your doctor if the medicine is not effective enough.

Alcohol worsens hay fever, as beer, wine and spirits all contain histamine, which is the chemical that sets off allergy symptoms in the body.

Do I have hay fever?

Hay fever is an allergic reaction to pollen, typically prompted when it comes into contact with the mouth, nose, eyes and throat.

The condition is usually worse between late March and September. Common symptoms can include sneezing and coughing, a runny or blocked nose and itchy or watery eyes.

Many assume that hay fever develops in childhood, but there have been cases of individuals in their 70s being diagnosed. It is not currently known what triggers the condition.