Hay fever misery13th June 2011
This summer will prove to be a particularly challenging one for hay fever sufferers due to a very warm, dry spring.
Around 15 million people suffer from the condition in the UK and 95% have allergies to grass pollen.
In April the Met Office said that this summer would be a "pretty significant season for hay fever sufferers", in particular in the south and central regions of the country.
June and July are usually the months in which people with hay fever suffer the most, particularly when the weather is hot and the sun shines.
However, this can change from year to year, and can come much later in Scotland and the North of the country.
Yolanda Clewlow, UK pollen network manager with the Met Office, said grass pollen causes the most problems for people with hay fever as grass pollen occurs in such large quantities.
"Most airborne pollen will get lost, so a lot is released. It's much lighter and more allergenic. It's the stuff you can't see. Only a small amount actually makes it to a fertile piece of ground."
Hay fever can cause a host of unpleasant symptoms, including runny eyes and nose, problems sleeping, headaches and sneezing.
Dr Glenis Scadding, President of the British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology and honorary consultant in rhinology at the Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital in London, said the problems can be terrible for sufferers.
"Some people can't go outside their house, particularly around Wimbledon fortnight. Their eyes become inflamed, they can't see properly and they sneeze constantly."
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