Now affecting some one in five people in the UK, hay fever is a major health complaint of today. It’s an easy one to spot among customers, with the obvious symptoms of a runny nose, sneezing, red, inflamed and watery eyes, and wheezing, and is one that can last for many months, depending on the type of pollen someone reacts to; we know that symptoms can start as early as March and go on as late as September or October.

Egzona Makolli, Technical and Commercial Nutritionist at Kinetic, commented: “Hay fever is common in the UK as it affects around one to five people at some stage of their lives. It is not known why some people suffer from hay fever and others do not. Currently, there is some evidence that hay fever is hereditary and people who suffer from asthma or eczema are more likely to develop hay fever. There is also a theory that Western countries have a higher rate of hay fever and allergies because of the cleanliness, which is referred to as the ‘hygiene hypothesis’, although there is a lack of studies to confirm this theory.

“Hay fever is an allergy to proteins found in the pollen of trees, grasses and some plants that affect the mucous membranes of the nose, eyes, and air passages. Depending on which pollen or pollens an individual is allergic to, hay fever may be present at any of the following times late March to September, especially when the weather is warm, humid and windy as this is when pollen count is at its highest.” James Hamill, Master Beekeeper, makers of HayfeGUARD Local Honey, added that hay fever season is changing.