Hay fever is a common condition that’s caused by an allergy to different types of pollen, according to the NHS. Pollen is a fine powder that’s released by plants, and it contains proteins that can irritate the nose, throat and eyes. With around 20 per cent of the UK affected by hay fever, pollen count spikes could result in large numbers of runny noses and watering eyes. Half of the UK has been forecasted ‘Moderate’ pollen counts today (May 22), the Met Office revealed.

Grass pollen is the most common trigger of hay fever

Hay fever patients in the southern half of England – from Cornwall to the Midlands – could be at risk of allergy symptoms today because of the high pollen levels.

The warning extends to Wales, which was also forecasted a ’Moderate’ pollen count.

Meanwhile, the rest of the UK, including Scotland and Northern Ireland, was forecasted ‘Low’ pollen counts.

During this time of the year, pollen most likely originates from grass, added the Met Office.

Grass pollen is the most common trigger of hay fever. Around 95 per cent of all people with hay fever are allergic to grass pollen.

But you could lower your risk of hay fever symptoms by simply spending a day at the beach, revealed charity Allergy UK.

Staying near the coast could help your hay fever, as the sea breeze blows pollen inland, it said.

“Avoiding airborne allergens such as pollen can be difficult,” said Allergy UK.

“Limit time spent in rural areas. Sea breezes blow pollen inland, so escape to the coast instead.

“On high pollen days, shower and wash your hair after arriving home and change your clothing, as pollen is virtually indestructible unless wet, so will stay on hair, body and clothing.

“Keep windows closed when indoors. This is most important in the early mornings, when pollen is being released, and in the evening when the air cools and pollens that have been carried up into the air begin to fall to ground level again.”

The most common hay fever symptoms include itching eyes, sneezing, blocked noses and headaches.

But symptoms vary from person to person, and the severity of symptoms depend on how much pollen is in the air.

Hay fever is a risk factor for developing asthma, and it can even significantly affect your work or school performance.

The condition can even cause some patients to develop breathlessness, nosebleeds, and even sinus pain.

You should speak to a doctor if your hay fever symptoms can’t be controlled by over-the-counter medication.

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