Adults under 25 “twice as likely to suffer from hay fever as those aged 55 or older”

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Young adults are twice as likely to suffer from hay fever as those aged over 54, according to new research.

The study showed that almost half of those those aged 16 to 24 (48 per cent) have experienced a seasonal allergy, such as hay fever or an allergy to pollen.

Sales of allergy products increased by 5.6 per in the UK from 2015 to 2016 to reach £133.7 million.

Researchers found 47 per cent of those aged 25 to 34 have experienced a seasonal allergy in the past year, compared to just one in four (25 per cent) of those aged 55 and over.

London is Britain’s current hay fever hotpsot with 46 per cent of people who live in the capital having experienced a seasonal allergy in the past year, compared to a national average of 39 per cent.

Those in need of respite from red eyes and a streaming nose should head to the North East, North West, South East or East Anglia where just 35 per cent of residents in each of these regions have experienced a seasonal allergy in the past year.

Of those who have experienced a seasonal allergy in the past year, more than half (58 per cent) have experienced a stuffy or runny nose, 57 per cent have suffered sneezing and 47 per cent have been plagued with itchy or watery eyes.

But while around a third of people (32 per cent) choose to treat seasonal allergies, one in four (26 per cent) prefer to suffer in silence.

But almost half of hay fever sufferers (47 per cent) keep track of pollen levels during the pollen season.

Lucy Cornford, head of beauty and personal care at Mintel, said: “Young adults are the most likely to have experienced an allergy in the last year, which may be due to first-time development or greater awareness of an existing allergy, in contrast to older adults who may have learned to avoid certain triggers.

“Climate change looks to be increasing instances of seasonal allergies in the UK, with warmer weather causing trees and grass to flower early, releasing more pollen and elongating the hay fever season.

“But, whilst it could be considered that those living in the countryside may be more likely to be affected, high levels of air pollution within cities - and London in particular - is only serving to exacerbate hay fever symptoms for city and town dwellers.”

But pollen isn’t the only non-food allergy to bug Brits, according to the research.

In the last 12 months, almost one in six (17 per cent) have suffered from an allergy to dust mites, while 14 per cent have suffered from an allergy to household or personal care products such as detergents and toiletries, and 13 per cent are allergic to pets.

Almost two-third of those who are allergic to household and personal care products (62 per cent) check the ingredients of these products for allergens.

Around half of all non-food allergy sufferers (49 per cent) have changed their lifestyle to avoid allergens, while 39 per cent of those who have experienced a non-food allergy in the last 12 months search online for information about their allergy, rising to 51 per cent among those under 35.

Under-35s have a significantly higher level of non-food allergies than their older counterparts with 28 per cent having experienced an allergy to dust mites, and 23 per cent an allergy to household or personal care products.

Ms Cornfood added: “While they are the most likely to suffer from non-food allergies, young adults with allergies are more likely to seek online information than other age groups, but this may expose them to a confusing array of information, as well as lead to potential issues in regard to self-diagnosis and treatment.

“An app that asks about the symptoms suffered alongside tracking activity and food intake, as well as the ability to scan barcodes in order to log the ingredients of personal care or household care products used, could help sufferers to more accurately identify allergy triggers and seek relevant treatment.”