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Fears for life-threatening asthma attacks as pollen levels spike in parts of UK

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Asthma victims have been warned to take extra precautions this weekend resulting from fears that rising pollen levels could trigger life-threatening attacks.

The Met Office is predicting high pollen levels across most of England and Wales from Friday, with medium levels in other parts of the UK.

Asthma and Lung UK said greater than three million people within the UK have lung conditions reminiscent of asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and are prone to flare-ups or attacks, which kill around 4 Britons day-after-day.

Pollen can trigger symptoms reminiscent of a decent chest, wheezing and breathlessness in greater than half of individuals living with asthma (59 per cent) and greater than 1 / 4 of those living with Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), in accordance with research from the charity.

Allergies may cause airways to tighten up and a build-up of sticky mucus, making it harder to breathe.

Those considered in danger have been told to proceed taking their preventer inhalers, in the event that they use them, and to maintain their reliever inhaler with them in any respect times.

Asthma and Lung UK has also advisable that vulnerable asthma victims use a steroid nasal spray or stay indoors on high pollen days. For England and Wales, levels are set to stay high from Friday through to Monday.

“Tree pollen currently includes oak, small amounts of birch and just a little grass pollen,” the Met Office said in its forecast, adding that spores are “limited”.

Dr Andy Whittamore, clinical lead for Asthma and Lung UK, said: “When pollen levels are at their highest this will be deadly for those with lung conditions like asthma who can suffer serious symptoms and have life-threatening attacks.

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

“Using your preventer inhalers as prescribed is vital as the drugs reduces sensitivity and swelling within the airways, helping to forestall symptoms reminiscent of wheezing and coughing before they even start.

“We also advise people to hold their reliever inhalers day-after-day, especially after they are out and about having fun with the sunshine in case pollen does cause a flare-up of their symptoms.

Reliever inhalers quickly chill out the muscles within the airways and ease symptoms immediately during an attack.

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Dr Whittamore added: “The third thing people can do is to make use of a steroid nasal spray day-after-day, along with non-drowsy antihistamine tablets to assist stop the allergic response.

“People must also check pollen and air pollution forecasts of their local area, so that they can avoid going outdoors as much as possible on high pollen days.”

Climate change is believed to be responsible in prolonging annual allergy seasons and making pollen counts higher. Scientists imagine these trends will worsen because the planet further heats up.

A study published last month within the journal Nature Communications said pollen season could start 10 to 40 days sooner than usual and last five to twenty days longer, with pollen levels that might triple in some places if carbon emissions aren’t curbed.

Warmer weather allows plants to start out blooming earlier and proceed to bloom later within the season, while carbon dioxide within the air from burning fuels reminiscent of coal, gasoline, and natural gas helps plants produce more pollen, the scientists said.

One other study published last yr said that, since 1990, allergy seasons have gotten longer and more pollen-filled, driven by rising global temperatures.

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