Whether you think you’re a thunder fever sufferer or you’ve never heard of it before, thunder fever and hay fever may actually go hand-in-hand.
The stormy days that follow a burst of hot weather may feel like sweet relief for patches of brown grass and the heavy humidity in the air. But for allergy sufferers, it can bring on a wave of hay fever symptoms. Read on to discover the main thunder hay fever symptoms and how to avoid them.
What is thunder fever?
When thunderstorms and a high pollen count collide, people with allergies experience the phenomenon known as thunder fever. This thunderstorm hay fever is a more intense version of hay fever and can cause symptoms like:
- Shortness of breath
- Runny or blocked nose
- Sneezing and coughing
- Chest tightness
We may think of hay fever as only being an issue during hot, sunny weather. But allergies don’t always get washed away in a storm. In fact, extreme weather can bring its own problems.
Thunder fever can feel more severe than hay fever for various reasons:
- The moisture and extra humidity in the air that comes alongside a summer storm can cause the allergens to break down. This can raise the pollen count and increase pollen density in the air.
- The more of these pesky pollen particles there are in the air around us, the more people with hay fever will suffer from the usual symptoms.
- Storms can also unsettle the atmosphere, stirring up allergens and pollen particles in the air, which can cause major irritation if you’re prone to allergies.
Thunder fever symptoms
While thunder fever and hay fever may show up in the same way, the key difference is that thunder fever tends to come with extra symptoms that are similar to asthma.
Post-thunderstorm hay fever symptoms could include:
- Skin irritation
- Itchy, watery or red eyes
- A runny or blocked nose
- An itchy throat, mouth, nose or ears
- Pain around your head and temples
- Loss of smell
- Chest tightness
- Shortness of breath
Thunder fever and asthma
If you suffer from both allergies and asthma, you should take extra care during stormy periods. The dramatic changes in pollen levels caused by thunderstorms can trigger asthma attacks if the small pollen particles get into your airways.
No matter what triggers it, an asthma attack can be fatal if it results in severe shortness of breath and a lack of oxygen in the lungs. But, it’s important to remember that not all thunderstorms trigger asthma, even if the pollen count is especially high.
Driving and thunder fever
If you suffer from thunder fever or hay fever, it’s key to avoid getting behind the wheel of a car. This is important if your symptoms are severe or if you’re taking any medication to treat the symptoms.
Antihistamines, which are usually used to treat allergy symptoms, can cause drowsiness. In previous years, the Met Office has issued warnings to drivers to be cautious during stormy periods while driving. Both thunder fever and the side effects of antihistamine medication can impact your reactions on the road.
How to avoid thunder fever?
Unfortunately, if you’re a seasonal allergy sufferer then you’ll already know there’s not much you can do to prevent it altogether. But here at Kleenex, we know a thing or two about telling allergies to get stuffed.
There are a few ways to help keep thunder fever at bay, including:
- Shutting your windows during times of high winds, high pollen counts and storms
- Using an air purifier
- Rinsing your eyes and nose with clean water whenever irritation occurs
- Carrying Pocket Pack Tissues with you for Allergy Comfort on-the-go
- Washing your clothes after being outside to get rid of any pollen that may linger on the fabric
- Dust your home regularly with a damp cloth to keep your surroundings free of irritants
- Applying Vaseline around your nostrils when you’re outside to form a barrier from the pollen
- Drying your clothes indoors rather than outside to minimise any contact with pollen
Thunder fever shouldn’t put a stop to your plans. Use Your Pollen Pal to check the pollen levels in your local area for the next five days so you can be prepared for whatever the weather has in store.