In the second week of June this year, 11,873 patients in England and Wales visited their GP with symptoms of hayfever or allergic rhinitis – a 114% increase from the amount that visited with a similar problem last year.
This figure was three times greater than the number who visited during the preceding week, and represented a five-fold increase from a fortnight before.
The data comes from the RCGP’s Research and Surveillance Centre, which monitors trends in diseases through patient consultations at GP surgeries.
Mid-June is traditionally associated with being the beginning of the ha fever season, heralding ‘untold misery’ for thousands of people, in the words of RCGP chairwoman Dr Maureen Baker.
She encouraged members of the public to seek over-the-counter remedies and take steps to minimise pollen exposure, and only visit their GP in extreme or very persistent cases.
The RCGP said: ‘With the warmer weather we have seen, perhaps unsurprisingly, a steep rise in allergic rhinitis, which includes hayfever. However, this steep increase still lies well within our 10-year rolling average for this condition.’