HAY fever is expected to strike millions more Brits over the next week, experts warn.
Good weather over the bank holiday will increase pollen counts across much of England and Wales.
With grass pollen season now underway, this will spell misery for millions who are allergic to it.
Allergen expert Max Wiseberg, of HayMax, said: “This is not good news for hay fever sufferers.
“The grass pollen season has well and truly started in England and Wales and peaks in the UK in June and July.
“Grass pollen causes very unpleasant symptoms in the sufferer including sneezing, a runny nose, a stuffed up nose, itchy and watery or streaming eyes, nasal congestion and a general stuffed up feeling in the nose and throat."
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High pollen is expected across most of England and Wales from Monday to Friday except the North East, where it will be low.
Counts in Yorkshire and the Humber and East of England are also expected to be medium.
Scotland and Northern Ireland will see low levels of pollen, the Met Office said.
Hay fever is an allergic reaction to pollen, typically when it comes into contact with your mouth, nose, eyes and throat.
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Symptoms include sneezing, a runny or blocked nose, itchy, red or watery eyes and an itchy throat, mouth, nose or ears.
Sufferers can be allergic to either tree pollen, with symptoms beginning in late March and lasting till mid-May, or grass, which peaks from mid-May till September, or both.
Pollen counts tend to be higher in early morning and late evening, although they can sometimes be high all day long.
The threshold for “high” pollen depends on the type of pollen, but usually hay fever symptoms begin when the pollen count is 50 grains per cubic metre of air.
For grass pollen, a count between 50 to 150 pollen grains per cubic metre is considered high, and for birch trees a count between 81 and 200 is high.
Experts suggest using antihistamines — including tablets and nasal sprays — to ease symptoms.
Mr Wiseberg said: “Antihistamines are a common remedy for hay fever.
“When we get these allergies our body reacts to the allergen and produces too many histamines which trigger the unpleasant symptoms.
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“Antihistamines do exactly what it says on the box; they anti the histamine.
“However, histamines also help keep us alert, attentive and awake. This is why antihistamines can cause drowsiness.”
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