Increase in number of hayfever sufferers linked to climate change

The number of hay fever sufferers is set to increase even more this year due to climate change. It is likely that numbers will continue to increase as climate change changes the traditional environmental structure.

Sufferers have also reported more serious and long-standing hayfever symptoms this year, as well as a number of new sufferers reporting symptoms for the first time.

According to NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies 2000-2009 was the hottest decade on record.

This increase in temperature means agricultural and natural growing zones are shifting northward, allowing pollen-bearing trees to survive over a wider range than in previous years. People who live in or near cities are especially likely to suffer because of the change.

Hay fever allergies are often worse in urban areas due to over-population and traditionally higher stress levels, leaving an individual more susceptible to allergies and infection.

The fluctuation means the number of hayfever sufferers is also expected to triple in the next 20 years. The number of people currently suffering from hay fever is estimated at one in five people.

According to experts, spring-like conditions are arriving a full 14 days earlier than they did 20 years ago. This year people have reported having hayfever symptoms as early as March.