New research has revealed we are an intolerant nation when it comes to seasonal sneezing and wheezing, with a heartless 59 percent of Brits admitting they secretly have very little sympathy for people with hay fever.
The research also reveals that a whopping 46 percent struggle to feel sorry for their own partner when they are suffering thanks to their hay fever – with ten percent admitting they sometimes feel really annoyed by the sneezing and sniffing.
And over half (51 percent) say they sometimes get irritated by those who often seem to suffer from allergies and colds.
Professor Adam Fox, paediatric Allergist at a leading London teaching hospital, said: “Hay fever can have a very real impact on quality of life, affecting our sleep and ability to concentrate, which in turn impacts productivity at work and school performance – particularly unhelpful when most exams are in the middle of the pollen season.
“Unfortunately, pollen is very good at getting on our clothes and in our hair so just staying inside won’t always be effective. Washing clothes regularly, avoiding drying them outside, and washing your hair before bedtime, to avoid getting pollen on your pillow, can all be part of the solution.”
What’s more, three in ten (31 percent) worry about picking up other people’s germs, even if they insist they’re sneezing or coughing due to hay fever.
The research was commissioned by LG Electronics, showed 56 percent claim they sometimes feel anxious when colleagues come into work who are coughing and sniffling because of pollen.
In fact, nearly a fifth (17 percent) secretly think they should stay at home instead – with 27 percent admitting to have pressured a hay fever suffering colleague to go home early because their sniffles were irritating them so much.
So, it’s little wonder perhaps, that 23 percent of the allergy sufferers polled said they have been made to feel like a virtual “outcast” by work colleagues and even their own boss, because of their symptoms.
And while a fifth say they sometimes want to isolate themselves because their symptoms are so bad, 12 percent believe that thanks to suffering from allergy related coughs and sneezes, they’ve been overlooked at work for a promotion – with non-sufferers being favoured over them instead.
Further findings include 22 percent saying their hay fever means they have to miss out on parties and barbeques during the summer months, with 16 percent also unable to visit loved ones.
11 percent claimed their allergies often ruin their social life, with 11 percent admitting their romantic relationship has suffered too.
The study also found that a whopping 71 percent of allergy sufferers say they think people have become more anxious about others coughing and sneezing in public due to the pandemic.
In fact, 54 percent have experienced someone scowling or moving away from them when they’ve been coughing or sneezing in public due to their hay fever.
And when it comes to managing their symptoms, 49 percent like to shower more frequently, while 37 percent wash their clothes as soon as they get home to remove pollen or dust.
14 percent spray their clothes with a disinfectant spray every day, while 13 percent even resort to washing their clothes twice a day.