One in 4 hay fever sufferers accused of ‘making it up’ by unsympathetic pals

ONE in four hay fever sufferers have been accused of “making it up” by those who have no symptoms.

A survey of 1,500 adults with seasonal allergies found that 19 percent believe those who don’t have them disagree with their condition.

One in four people is accused of hay fever "make it up"a poll revealed


One in four hay fever sufferers is accused of “making it up,” a survey has foundPhoto credit: Getty – Contributor

Experts warned millions of people today as the first pollen bomb exploded in parts of the UK.

In fact, 70 percent of those affected fear the effects of hay fever, and 29 percent take days off work because the symptoms were so bad.

Meanwhile, 29 percent also had to give up plans with friends and family and 16 percent even had to cancel a date because of their hay fever.

And of the parents surveyed, 52 percent have pulled their children out of school because of a flare-up.

But still, 79 percent say those lucky enough not to have experienced the allergy don’t believe it’s a good reason not to show it.

dr Roger Henderson, GP and spokesman for Olbas, which commissioned the research, said: “People who don’t have allergies often think the effects aren’t very serious.

“But our research shows the massive impact this has on their lifestyle — and also on the inquisition they face for missing out.”

“As hay fever is most often at its worst in spring and summer – times when community involvement tends to increase – unfortunately many are faced with difficult choices.

“A simple nasal spray or decongestant can help relieve nasal congestion and reduce the effects of headaches and sinus problems, allowing you to enjoy your summer social life during the day and sleep better at night.”

The survey also found that 60 percent of hay fever sufferers struggle with severe symptoms.

With itchy, red or watery eyes most common (68 percent), followed by a stuffy nose (67 percent) and frequent sneezing (66 percent).

And many also have to overcome some of the lesser-known effects of hay fever, like loss of their sense of smell (22 percent), facial pain (19 percent), and earache (18 percent).

But 71 percent believe there are several misconceptions surrounding hay fever, with 27 percent believing the range of symptoms it can cause causes the most confusion.

While 19 percent believe there is a misunderstanding about what actually causes it to flare up.

Unfortunately, 62 percent get upset when trying to correct these common misconceptions.

The study, conducted via OnePoll, found that 77 percent tried to minimize the effects of hay fever.

Of these, 76 percent take antihistamines to combat them, and 47 percent simply stay indoors when pollen levels are high.

But of those who do head out, 35 percent will shower and change once they get home.

However, 75 percent take precautions in anticipation of the hay fever season, such as closing windows at night (45 percent) and vacuuming the home more frequently (36 percent).

But for 85 percent, when they flare up, they feel like they just had to learn to live with their hay fever symptoms.

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Claire Campbell of decongestant brand Olbas added: “It is fascinating to learn that so many believe there is significant confusion surrounding hay fever.

“But since the allergy has so many repercussions for so many of those affected, it’s beginning to be understood why.” One in 4 hay fever sufferers accused of ‘making it up’ by unsympathetic pals

Emma James

Emma James is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Emma James joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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