What is pollen
Pollen is a grain released from a plant to transport the male gamete to the female part of a plant. 1 in 5 of the population are allergic to these grains and suffer with a condition called Hay Fever.
Hay Fever Symptoms
Hay Fever (seasonal Allergic Rhinitis) is an allergic reaction to pollen and spores. The symptoms include sneezing, runny eyes and nose, itchy nose and sometimes a headache and tiredness.
Not all Hay Fever sufferers are allergic to all the different types of pollen. This is the reason why some people suffer symptoms all through the summer whilst others only at certain times. The most common cause of Hay Fever is grass pollen which is released in large quantities on warm summer days.
How the pollen forecast can help
Hay Fever sufferers can gain a great advantage in the management of their symptoms if they are made aware of the daily pollen count. This can enable them to plan ahead in their use of drugs and in their exposure to possible pollen sources.
The Council's Environmental Monitoring Team provides daily counts of the grass pollen levels measured in the Bath area. The grass pollen monitoring usually takes place from May or June to August.
This monitoring is carried out on behalf of the Met Office and the National Pollen and Aerobiology Research Unit (NPARU) and is part of a UK network of pollen monitoring sites.
Pollen is collected via a pollen trap located in as open an area as possible then analysed under the microscope to give the final count.
More Information on the Pollen Forecast can be found on the Met Office Web site: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/health/public/pollen-forecast