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Hay Day Hell Could Cause Concentration Crash for Hay Fever Sufferers

  • There are an estimated 18million hay fever sufferers in the UK[1]
  • Almost 90% of hay fever sufferers admit their concentration levels are being negatively affected by symptoms
  • Only half of sufferers can identify their hay fever triggers

June 22nd traditionally marks the worst day of the year for those suffering with hay fever (allergic rhinitis) and with the peak season currently upon us, national charity Allergy UK has teamed up with HayMax to find out more about the wider effects of hay fever. The charity surveyed hay fever sufferers aged 16+ to find out what impact this condition is really having on their quality of life.

We know that hay fever symptoms such as a runny, itchy nose or constant sneezing can be very difficult to live with. Typically, eyes can also be affected, with them becoming itchy, red and watery.

People suffering with hay fever can also experience a blocked or stuffy nose and sinuses, which may lead to headaches and difficulty sleeping. In fact, 87% of hay fever sufferers stated that their hay fever symptoms are affecting their sleeping habits, which is having a direct effect on their concentration levels the next day.

Alarmingly, the survey revealed that 81% of people surveyed believe that hay fever is affecting their concentration levels at work. That’s a potential 14.5 million[2] people who could be underperforming at work due to this allergic condition.

But it isn’t just work performance levels that are being affected; 59% revealed that their levels of concentration were affected whilst at school, with 51% of people believing that hay fever had negatively affected their exam performance. 51% of people said that hay fever affects their concentration levels while driving, and sadly 32% even admitted that they avoid everyday tasks such as shopping because they simply cannot concentrate.

With so many people suffering with symptoms, it was interesting to learn that only 53% of people knew what their hay fever triggers were. It is important to identify and understand triggers so that sufferers can work out when their peak season is, in order to treat effectively.

Grass pollen is the most common allergen, which affects sufferers at the specific times of the year when grass pollen is released (May–July). However, some people become allergic to tree or weed and shrub pollens, and will therefore be affected at different times of the year (February–June for trees; June to September for weeds). The patient who is allergic to tree, grass and weed pollens may suffer a very prolonged ‘hay fever’ season.

Symptoms that continue all year are called perennial allergic rhinitis and commonly relate to indoor allergens, such as house dust mites, pets and indoor moulds.

For more information about hay fever and how to treat symptoms, take a look at our Hay Fever and Allergic Rhinitis Factsheet! 


Notes to Editors 

All unreferenced statistics were taken from the research which was carried out in 2017 by Allergy UK, supported by HayMax. The figures stated in the press release are based on the sample size of 556 respondents. Respondents were aged 16 and over. 

About Allergy UK 

Allergy UK, the operational name of the British Allergy Foundation, is the leading national charity which provides advice and support to people with allergies and works with healthcare professionals and KOLs to help advance research, diagnosis and treatment. Allergy UK acts as the 'voice' of the UK’s millions of people with allergy, representing the views and healthcare needs of those affected by this multi-organ disease. For more information, visit

About HayMax 

HayMax is a 2017 Allergy UK Corporate Partner. 

HayMax is a natural, organic allergen barrier balm that is applied to the rim of the nostrils. It can also be applied to the bones of the eyes. HayMax has been proven to reduce dust and pet allergens and more than a third of pollen from entering the body. For more information visit

[1] Allergy UK, Allergy Awareness Week 2014

[2] Based on survey results (81%)  and estimated UK hay fever prevalence (18 million people)

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