Asthma UK alert: Fifty Shades of ‘Grey Fever’

There are very high pollen levels today and levels look set to be remaining high for the rest of this week for most of the UK (more information on the Met Office website).

Dr Samantha Walker, Director of Research and Policy at Asthma UK, says: "People with asthma need to be aware that very high levels of pollen forecast this week may make their symptoms worse and increase their risk of a potentially fatal asthma attack. Up to 80% of people with asthma also have hayfever and people living in urban areas need to take special care as they are at risk of what is being referred to as 'Grey Fever' where pollen particles combine with pollution especially during periods of dry warm weather.

"If you know that pollen or pollution triggers your asthma symptoms you should check pollen and air pollution forecasts for your local area. If you have asthma it is vital you take your preventer inhaler every day as prescribed by your GP or asthma nurse as this helps build resilience to your asthma triggers. If you also have hay fever it's important to use a steroid nasal spray every day together with non-drowsy antihistamine tablets as needed. You must also keep your reliever inhaler on you at all times too, just in case of an asthma attack. Anyone who is concerned about how pollen may affect their asthma can call our Helpline on 0300 222 5800 or visit www.asthma.org.uk/pollen."