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Last Updated: Friday, 12 May 2006, 06:00 GMT 07:00 UK
Watch out... for the yellow peril
A bee covered with pollen approaches a sunflower
A bee covered in yellow pollen approaches a sunflower
Water shortages, sunburn and hay fever are just some of the unpleasant side-effects of the summer season.

But with fine weather finally reaching much of the UK, hay fever sufferers will have to be on the look out for potentially serious problem.

It's called the yellow peril, and it's being blown across the country thanks to our European neighbours.

Across the east coast of the UK there have been reports of a fine yellow dust settling on cars.

But weather forecasters today reassured the public that the dust is most probably pollen being blown across from Europe.

Calls about the "yellow dust" came from people in East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire as well as from as far inland as West Yorkshire and Derbyshire.

  • More pollen means bad news for hay fever sufferers - so this morning we've put together a guide to preventing the symptoms of hay fever with Breakfast's resident GP Dr Rosemary Leonard

  • And we've sent our reporter, Tim Muffett, armed with nasal spray and anti-histamines to Grimsby to investigate - find out more at 0720, 0820 and 0840

    Dr Rosemary's hay fever advice

  • People tend to rely solely on oral antihistamines, whereas they should also look into using nasal sprays and eye drops

  • Stay in when it's the worst time for pollen - mornings and evenings. And shut the doors and windows to prevent grass pollen entering the house. Also shut car windows

  • A bit of Vaseline on the end of your nose can help as it catches the pollen.

  • Use preventative medical nasal sprays

  • Wrap around sunglasses can help as well - ideally curvy ones

  • Clothes can catch pollen grains so ideally tumble dry washing during the hay fever season. If you can't do that, hang washing out late morning and take it in before the day cools. Shaking the washing before you go inside can get rid of the pollen.

  • Cover your bed and pillows with a cotton throw to keep pollen off, undress before you enter your bedroom. Pollen can be inhaled from the hair so rinse your hair and skin before going to bed.

  • Pollen clings to dust so can remain active months after the hay fever season has finished. Vacuuming with a powerful vacuum cleaner that is fitted with a HEPA filter will help a lot. (HEPA filter removes 99.9% of pollen particles from the air)

  • To reduce wind-dispersed pollen, replacing lawns with patio's will reduce the amount of grass pollen. Avoid trees such as birch and oak which produce a lot of pollen

  • Diet: some hay fever sufferers, esp. those who are sensitive to tree pollens, can also react to fruit during the hay fever season.

    Symptoms of oral allergy syndrome include a tingly mouth and swollen lips after eating fruits, in particular apples, peaches and plums.

    Grass pollens come from the same botanical family as sugar and wheat so it makes sense to cut them from your diet.

    Forecast

    Breakfast's weather presenter Louise Lear said that the pollen cloud has probably passed:

    "The worst is over and the pollen count will drop across the UK because the weather is going to be showery and fresh over the weekend

    "It's quite a rare phenomenon in the UK; we're unlikely to see it again this summer."

    Remember:If you have any concerns about your health, you should speak to your GP, a pharmacist will be able to help with the correct over-the-counter treatments for hay fever symptoms

  • BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
    Tim Muffett reports from Grimsby
    In search of the yellow peril


    Coping with hay fever
    Dr Rosemary's advice



    BBC Breakfast

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