UK hay fever sufferers warned of 'highest pollen count in a decade'

Alexandra Richards
The pollen count is expected to be the highest since 2006 in the coming days: PA

A warning has been issued to hay fever sufferers as pollen counts reach the highest levels in over a decade.

The Met Office warned that the amount of pollen in the air will be higher than average and could trigger symptoms in people who are not usually affected with allergies.

Meteorologist Helen Roberts said a combination of weather conditions has caused the spike in the pollen count in the past couple of days and could continue to do so.

“The recent bouts of warm weather followed by rain and breezy days have led to more pollen being in the air,” she said.

The Met Office said those living in England and Wales will be worse affected with the East Midlands expected to experience very high pollen counts.

Ms Roberts advised people to wear sunglasses when outdoors and to shower when they get home to remove any pollen that could be in their hair or on their skin.

“Regularly vacuuming and washing your clothes also helps,” she said.

According to the Met Office, one in five people suffer from hayfever.

The Met Office has joined with the NHS to set up the UK’s first pollen-monitoring network.

The research program identified the pollens which are most likely to cause allergies.

According to experts, grass is the most common cause of hay fever, affecting 95 per cent of UK sufferers.

The highest level of grass pollen is expected in the months May through to August.

As the pollen count soars, Britain is gearing up to face Storm Hector on Thursday morning as gusts of 70 mph move in from the Atlantic.

Much of Britain is currently covered by a yellow warning, but the majority of Northern Ireland is now subject to a more serious amber warning.

The Met Office said injuries and a danger to life is "likely" in coastal areas in Northern Ireland, with the chance of large waves and potential for beach debris to end up on roads, sea fronts and properties.

Londoners should miss the worst of the storm but are still set for strong winds as they make their way to work, with a high chance of showers around mid-morning.

People have been advised to take care during rush hour with potential disruption due to fallen trees and the possibility that outdoor summer furniture will have been blown around overnight.