Home Health & Wellness Driving with Hay Fever? Motoring Experts Warn This Setting in Your Car Could Make Your Symptoms Worse

Driving with Hay Fever? Motoring Experts Warn This Setting in Your Car Could Make Your Symptoms Worse

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This week, the Met Office reveals that pollen levels will be high across all of England from Thursday 11th April to Saturday 13th as temperatures creep up to 20 °C in some areas.

According to the Met Office, tree pollen affects around 1 in 4 people and is most common from late March to mid-May. This is followed by the more commonly known grass pollen, which typically starts to affect sufferers from mid-May. 

With Brits taking full advantage of the warmer spring weather, motoring experts from car warranty provider ALA Insurance, have warned this setting in your car could actually leave you worse off during the peak of hay fever season. 

Is the aircon making my hay fever worse?

ALA Insurance suggests that most modern cars will have a built-in pollen filtration system, designed to stop pesky pollen from making its way into your car while you have the aircon on. 

However, these filters can become clogged, and stop working effectively. Ahead of the peak hay fever months, ALA Insurance recommends having this important element checked before embarking on any road trips.

However, this won’t be the case for all cars, some older models may not have this built in, but most of the time you can buy these parts separately and have them fitted by a professional.

Without this, turning your aircon on in the spring and summer could actually make your hay fever symptoms worse, by locking particles of pollen and dust in the car with you during your journey, especially if the fans are pointed directly at your face. 

What to do if you’re suffering from hay fever while driving

Callum Butler, from ALA Insurance said: “If you’re struggling with hay fever symptoms while on the road, there’s a few tricks you can try to minimise the problem.”

“Firstly, it can be tempting to wind the windows down while the weather is warm, but this could be doing more harm than good when it comes to protecting you from pollen, especially if you’re taking the scenic route through country roads. 

”If your car has a built-in cabin filter, rely on using your aircon when it’s warm, instead of letting fresh air in through your windows.

“Secondly, consider taking a trip to the carwash before and after any long journeys, and have the inside and outside regularly cleaned. Pollen and dust tend to hang around, especially inside your car, which could trigger your symptoms before you’ve even set off.

“Not only are sunglasses a must for maintaining visibility on the road during sunny days, but they can also prevent pollen particles from irritating your eyes. I recommend keeping a pair handy in your car just in case. But don’t forget to give them a wipe every now and again to remove any buildup.”

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