Super Pollen and Thunder Fever on Radio 5 Live

Super Pollen and Thunder Fever on Radio 5 Live

Hayfever is a worry for many people around spring and summer time but what if I told you that things could be about to get much, much worse.

Think pollen on steroids.
Imagine all those pollen particles splitting and doubling their misery… it sounds like something from a hayfever horror story.

And it’s real!

I got a phone call yesterday while sitting on the beach in Bournemouth from an unknown number. Ignored it. I’m on holiday so I don’t have to answer and it was probably a sales call. But they phoned again, so I relented, just in case, and it turned out to be a researcher for BBC Radio 5 Live asking me to be on their early morning programme the following day to talk about ‘super pollen’ and ‘thunder fever’.

Super pollen and thunder fever

Super pollen and thunder fever

All I had to write on was this tiny salt packet but of course I said yes, yes yes. I’d love to help out. When they said early they meant early – tune into 5Live and listen back to about 6.38am. I was on the Sunday Breakfast show with Sam Walker and Eleanor Oldroyd – resulting in the usual surnsame banter 🙂 I hope I didn’t sound like I had just been woken up by my phone ringing, because of course they decided they’d like to get me on air EVEN EARLIER so they called me before the first alarm had even gone off (yes I set three alarms just be safe)

So back to the important subject of hay fever.

I am well aware of the conditions that make pollen worse, being one of the approximately 10 million people in England who are thought to have hayfever, but why might we get super pollen and what on earth is Thunder fever?

Why are we getting super pollen and thunder fever?

Recent very dry weather have created something of a pollen breeding ground. The lack of rain has meant that fallen pollen is not absorbed so easily into moist soil and hasn’t been washed away. All those tiny billions of pollen particles are sitting around on patios, pathways and parklands waiting for the warm and balmy weather which will give them a new lease of life.

Thunder and lightening, forcast soon across England due to the humid weather, splits the pollen particles so the problem becomes much worse. Warmer weather coupled with blustery winds will blow those particles up into the air ready to settle in your airways. Are you ready?

What can I do stay safe?

You can never totally escape the pollen, but if you keep up-to-date with any nasal sprays and anti-histamines you usually take and make sure your asthma is well controlled you should be well equipped to weather this storm. But as we all know, there isn’t a widely available cure to hay fever, unless you can afford de-sensitisation treatment.

What you can do is take note of the perfect conditions for this kind of super pollen storm. It’s been dry so lots of pollen is lying around. Very little, if any, rain so none of those particles have been absorbed and washed away. The weather forcasts predict some lovely humid, warm and sunny weather and we are all looking forward to that, but those of you with hay fever should take care.

Thunder and lightening followed by dry and windy conditions could mean we are in for a real pea soup of pollen over the coming weeks.

Further reading

You can read more about this phenomenon here:

How has your hay fever been this year? How are you coping?



An allergy and health writer and freelance copywriter, Ruth is passionate about helping those with allergies and food intolerances take control, embrace their condition, and learn to live with and love who they are. It can be very lonely finding you have allergies and discovering what helps you can be a life long journey. What works for one person won't work for another, so after trying nearly every allergy treatment under the sun and finding hours of research necessary to keep abreast of what's going on, Ruth started writing her blog, What Allergy? in April 2009. Ruth has life threatening allergies herself to all nuts, all diary, tomatoes and celery and knows first-hand what it's like to have an anaphylactic attack. Voted in the Top 5 UK allergy blogs by Cision UK in 2011, What Allergy is packed full of interesting articles, hints and tips and product reviews which are a must read for anyone with allergies, food intolerances or sensitivities, asthma and eczema. From subjects such as "What is celery allergy?" to "Surviving a holiday abroad with allergies", it's packed with useful and interesting information. You can register free for a weekly newsletter by visiting her website and also keep in touch by following her on Facebook and Twitter.

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