Spring has sprung, the Daffodils are blooming and British Summer Time has begun. But for many of us, the season of sneezing, runny noses and itchy eyes is just around the corner, as new research from Mintel finds today, almost half of Brits are allergy sufferers with hayfever topping the nation’s allergic conditions.

A staggering 44% of British adults now suffer from at least one allergy and the number of sufferers is on the rise, growing by around 2 million between 2008 and 2009 alone. Almost half (48%) of sufferers have more than one allergy.

According to exclusive consumer research, an allergy to pollen (26%) is the most common allergy, followed by house dust mites (11%) and pets (9%). Other allergies include, mould (4%) rubber (2%) and metal (1%). Dairy (including eggs) and fish or seafood (4%) are the most frequently suffered food allergies, while 2% of Brits suffer from a nut allergy.

Less than half (49%) of allergy sufferers have had their allergies diagnosed by a medical professional. Women and younger adults (under 35s) are the most likely to suffer from allergies (around half) whereas just three in ten older people (65+) claim to be allergic to something.

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