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Heatwave pollen levels leave asthma sufferers struggling

05 July 2018 08:10

Asthma UK figures show that calls to its helpline jumped by over 40% in June

Asthma UK figures show that calls to its helpline jumped by over 40% in June

Soaring temperatures across the UK have led to a surge of asthma sufferers calling a dedicated asthma helpline, a charity has revealed.

Asthma UK figures show that calls to its helpline jumped by over 40% in June, as people with asthma struggled to cope with high pollen levels.

The charity received 642 calls during June as Britain basked in soaring temperatures, compared to 450 calls in April, a 42.7% increase.

Asthma UK said the high pollen count is a factor behind this increase, with the current heatwave putting sufferers at risk of a "life-threatening" attack.

Struggling to cope

Sonia Munde, head of services at Asthma UK, said: "Calls to Asthma UK's specialist nurse-staffed helpline surged by over 40% in June.

"Many callers saying that they are struggling to cope with high pollen levels affecting their asthma.

"An estimated 3.3 million people in the UK who have asthma say their pollen allergy triggers their asthma so as well as having to deal with hayfever symptoms such as itchy eyes, sneezing and a running nose, they're also at risk of a life-threatening asthma attack.

"People who have asthma and a pollen allergy should take hayfever medicines, such as antihistamines and nasal steroid sprays, and make sure they take their preventer inhaler as prescribed for the best chance of staying well."

Staying dry

Temperatures are forecast to remain in the mid to high 20s - as hot as holiday destinations Barcelona and Tenerife.

The UK basked in one of its hottest and driest Junes ever, and the weather is not changing any time soon, although there is a risk of showers in southern parts.

Met Office forecaster Bonnie Diamond said the warm weather is "certainly lasting through this week".

"There's a signal that it will continue into next week as well, with many places staying dry, sunny, very warm and light winds.

"Over the weekend especially, across southern parts of the UK, it will turn hot, possibly seeing a return to temperatures into the low 30s."

Bookmaker Ladbrokes slashed the odds to 5/4 that the heatwave lasts until August.

Do you suffer with asthma? If so, make sure to take a look at our dedicated asthma travel insurance to keep yourself covered on your travels as the temperatures soar.