A new study has found that people living in ‘urban areas’ are likely to experience more severe hay fever symptoms than those living elsewhere.
The results from the first-ever study carried out to compare pollution levels with the severity and duration of real-time hay fever symptoms by researchers at the University of Manchester (UoM) has revealed that residents in city centres and built-up towns – referred to as ‘urban areas’ – reported “significantly worse” symptoms of seasonal allergies.
The UoM research team studied a whopping 36,145 symptom reports submitted by more than 700 suffering Brits over a five-year period from 2016 to 2020.
They used a citizen science application called Britain Breathing for their research.
The study – which has been published in Scientific Reports this week – compares self-reported allergy symptoms in urban and rural locations, and particularly focuses on the severity of common hay fever symptoms.
They found that reports of a runny nose, sore eyes, and wheezy breathing were roughly twice as severe for those in urban areas, than they were for those in rural ones across all years studied.
The study combined pollution measurements and pollen and meteorological data taken from the UK Met Office with the real-time geo-positioned reports to, according to UoM, “examine the relationship between symptom severity and air quality”.
The analysis shows that urban areas record “significantly higher symptom severity” and “longer symptom duration” for all years studied, except 2017, whereas rural areas did not record this in any of the study years.
Researchers claim that symptom severity was “significantly correlated with ozone levels”, as ozone has previously been linked to respiratory problems.
“The worldwide prevalence of allergic respiratory disease has risen considerably in recent years,” explained Immunologist Professor Sheena Cruickshank – who is one of the authors of the study.
“However, hay fever affects people differently and can change over a lifetime, and data is lacking on how environmental factors may influence this.
“This study provides evidence that urban surroundings may exacerbate hay fever and asthma symptoms. It also provides a broader picture of chronic health issues experienced by hay fever and asthma sufferers, as opposed to only observing those with more acute and/or problematic reactions.
BBC is looking for Mancs to take part in next series of Race Across the World
Are you a fan of travelling? Got yourself a bit of a competitive streak in your nature? This might just be your calling then.
The BBC is currently casting for the next series of Race Across the World.
The broadcaster has announced that the BAFTA-winning hit show is set to return to our TV screens for a third series later this year, and producers are now on the look-out for “intrepid duos” of all ages who reckon they’re ready to take a step into the unknown, and embark on an epic race across land and sea – and that includes Greater Manchester residents.
With applications for the next series of the massively-popular show now open, nomadic Mancs are being encouraged to take part.
On a limited budget and away from the luxuries of modern technology and conveniences, those lucky applicants selected to take part in the next series will get the chance to experience life in some of the world’s most beautiful and remote locations.
Navigating their way across thousands of miles, they’ll travel through spectacular scenery and dynamic cities, visit ancient wonders, learn local customs, and take part in time-honoured traditions.
But, as producers are keen to point out, “the physical journey is only half of the story”.
That’s because, as the contestants take on the challenge of travelling across the world, the greatest thing they’ll discover along the way could actually be about themselves and one another.
Putting out a UK-wide casting call on the BBC website this week, producers Studio Lambert wrote: “We are now accepting applications for the next series of Race Across the World. This experience is open to all, whether you’re a seasoned traveller or total novice.
“We want to hear what undertaking a trip like this would mean to you, and with a cash prize at stake, what lengths you would go to to win.
Applications for the massively-popular show are now open / Credit: BBC
“Maybe you’re looking to change something in your life? Or are keen to share the journey with someone special like a family member, best friend, or someone you’ve lost touch with. You may even have a very personal reason for wanting to travel at this time in your life or explore a particular part of the world.”
Fancy it then?
Applications for the third series of Race Across the World are now open for anyone over 18 years of age, with a deadline date of Friday 19 April 2024, and you can find out more information and apply via the BBC website.
Cheadle care home asks locals to take their dogs to its ‘Canine Café’ next week to cheer up residents
A Greater Manchester care home is calling on locals to take their dogs down to its ‘Canine Café’ next week to help cheer up the residents.
After recent studies have shown that introducing dogs into care home settings can help lift people’s mood and increase social interaction among the community, Abney Court Care Home in the Stockport town of Cheadle – which sits within the picturesque grounds of Abney Hall Park – has decided to host its very-own ‘Canine Café’ next week.
But in a bid to make sure there’s enough canine cuddles for all the residents, staff at the home are asking the public to bring their own four-legged friends down to the party.
Abney Court created the canine-themed event after being inspired by the positive impact previous animal visits have had on residents’ wellbeing in the past, and after hearing how much they missed the company of their own pets from their younger years.
Cheadle care home asks locals to take their dogs to its ‘Canine Café’ next week to cheer up residents / Credit: Care UK (via Facebook)
Taking place next Friday 8 March from 11am-12pm, Abney Court’s ‘Canine Café’ gives attendees the chance to enjoy loads of tasty puppy-themed treats and drinks, all while being in the company of furry friends.
Of course, all four-legged guests will be taken good care of too.
Not only will the pups be able to enjoy plenty of fuss from the home’s residents, but they’ll also get the opportunity to play with the other pooches, and be treated to their very-own ‘pup cake’ too.
There’ll also be lots of garden games and a raffle too, so everyone has a shot a winning a whole host of goodies to take home.
Inviting the Greater Manchester public down to the party next week, Amcia Hara, who is the Home Manager at Abney Court, said: “We are looking forward to inviting the local community to our Canine Café, as atudies have shown that introducing dogs into care homes can help lift people’s mood and increase social interaction.
“The human-animal bond is powerful in promoting self-esteem and wellbeing, which is exactly why we feel our Canine Café is set to be a brilliant event.
“Whether you have your own dog or simply an animal lover, we’d encourage you to come along to our event.”