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Hayfever sufferers: are you prepared for 2018’s pollen surge?

Help make your home a refuge from pollen with an air purifier

Spring has arrived and with temperatures rising, it looks like a surge of pollen might be on its way. Can an air purifier be the answer to your hayfever symptoms?

Trees bursting into bloom and spring flowers may look fantastic, but they herald the start of hayfever season. We’ve also discovered that hayfever could be particularly bad this year, as the cold March weather means we’ll get a pollen surge now that warmer weather is here.

The UK’s weather experts at the Met Office told us: The colder and often snowy weather many of us experienced in March might have led to some early flowering species having their flowering period delayed.

‘With warmer weather on the way, this may result in a clustering of species flowering together that would otherwise normally be spread out over a long period of time.’

Bad news for allergy sufferers, but there are measures you can take. Read on for tips on how to help handle hayfever, including advice on how an air purifier can reduce the amount of pollen in your home.

Or, to cut straight to the chase, head to our best air purifiers.

How to help alleviate hayfever

Pink flowers with green leaves

The arrival of spring is a welcome change after the long, cold winter. But if you suffer from pollen allergies, spring could also mean the arrival of itchy water eyes, running nose, sneezing and coughing.

If you suffer from both asthma and seasonal allergies, then hayfever can mean months of wheezing and shortness of breath, as well as traditional hayfever symptoms.

The NHS has several suggestions on how to help cope with hayfever; including staying indoors and keeping your windows shut as much as possible. These tips are great, but keeping your windows shut on a hot day isn’t very practical.

There are some things you can do, however, to remove pollen and other air pollutants from inside your home, which will help you breathe easier (even with your windows open).

Cleaning regularly with a vacuum cleaner that has a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter will help reduce pollutants in your home. You could also invest in an air purifier, which will help clean the air in your home and remove allergy-provoking pollen and particulates.

Discover the best and worst air purifiers – see our air purifier reviews.

What is the best air purifier?

An air purifier helps clean the air inside your home of particulate matter – such as dusk, smoke and pollen.

Air purifiers do this by circulating air through filters inside the device and depositing clean air back into your room. But you can’t tell how well an air purifier’s going to work until you get it back home – unless, of course, you read our air purifier reviews.

We found one air purifier that would only clean an area the size of a cupboard, but still costs more than £100.

Many air purifier manufacturers put the clean air delivery rate (CADR) in the fine print of their products, although some leave this out altogether.

Even if the air purifier comes with CADR, the terminology can be confusing. When faced with the dizzying array of options available – large, small, round, square, expensive or even more expensive – its hard to know which one to chose.

Price isn’t an indicator of how well an air purifier will work. In our tests, one mediocre model costs over £150 more than a Best Buy.

For advice on how to chose the best model for you, see how to buy the best air purifier.

Hayfever season

Hayfever season runs from March to November in the UK. Basically, if there is a chance of nice weather, then there is also a chance that you’ll be assaulted by a deluge of pollen.

Aside from keeping yourself cosseted in your home – windows shut, curtains drawn, hugging your Best Buy air purifier – to keep the encroaching spring, summer and autumn pollen away, there are a few other things you can do to reduce your hayfever symptoms.

  • Figure out what kind of pollen you’re allergic to

Not all pollen is the same – you may only be allergic to one variety of pollen. Knowing about the different types of pollen will help you identify which times of year are going to cause you bother and help you identify what type of flora to avoid.

  • Avoid alcohol and smoking 

If you suffer from hayfever, alcohol and smoking will only exacerbate it. Laying off drinking and the cigarettes can help you manage your spring allergies.

  • Check the pollen forecast

The Met Office has a pollen forecast that tells you when pollen is at its worst in your specific region. Planning an outdoor excursion? Check the pollen forecast before you head out and prepare yourself accordingly.

Take a look at this round-up of hayfever facts and figures from the Met Office.

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