Grass pollen is currently at an all-time high in the UK, with more than half the country predicted to be hit by the highest pollen rating possible on Sunday.

Issuing a warning, Colette Harris, Deputy Director of Digital Health at Asthma UK, said: "Pollen levels are sky high at the moment and causing misery for millions of people with asthma.

"An estimated 3.3million people in the UK who have asthma say their pollen allergy triggers their asthma so as well as having to deal with classic hay fever symptoms such as itchy eyes, sneezing and a running nose, they’re at risk of a life-threatening asthma attack."

She warned asthma sufferers should make sure to take the appropriate medications, including antihistamines and nasal steroid sprays, to stay safe this weekend.

It is currently peak grass pollen season – an allergy that affects 95 per cent of Brits.

Explaining the peak pollen count, Met Office forecaster Helen Chivers told The Sun Online: "Some of the wet weather we had in the Spring made the grass grow and now pollen is being released.

"This week's sunshine helped with that process and with the little bit of breeze expected this weekend, there will be a lot of pollen about."

And if you were hoping to make the most of the sunshine in a beer garden, maybe think twice.

The Met Office warns that beer, wine and other spirits contain histamine, the chemical that sets off allergy symptoms in the body.

And it's not over yet.

Dr Jean Emberlin, an allergy expert who works with Opticrom Hayfever Eyedrops, told The Sun that for those allergic to grass pollen, there's good and bad news to come.

"Grass pollen levels are due to start going down slightly in the last week of June," she said.

"We can then expect to see a second, smaller peak around the second week of July, when other grass flowers come into bloom.

"That's before a general decrease in pollen levels after the first week of August should leave sufferers finally feeling much better."

What can hay fever sufferers do?

To try and combat the effects of hay fever, you can try a number of things:

  • Put Vaseline around your nostrils to trap pollen
  • Wear wraparound sunglasses to stop pollen getting into your eyes
  • Shower and change your clothes after you've been outside to wash the pollen off
  • Stay indoors whenever possible
  • Keep windows and doors shut as much as possible
  • Vacuum regularly and dust with a damp cloth
  • Buy a pollen filter for the air vents in your car and a vacuum cleaner with a special HEPA filter

The sneezy season comes as temperatures continue to rise 10C above average – with the weekend again expected to see temperatures in the high 20s and conditions to remain dry and sunny.

The Met Office's Ms Chivers said there was an "extremely" small chance of showers across the south east.

She added: "We have a very large, high pressure system over the top of us and that means dry weather and cloudless skies.

"It looks like it's going to carry on into next week – there's no end in sight."

This week has seen records tumble, with four days crowned the hottest day of the year.

Highs were recorded across the UK –  making it the first time in five years that temperatures have hit 30C in all four nations of the UK.

The hottest temperatures recorded were 33C in Porthmadog, Wales.

But the heatwave has sparked health warnings with conditions expected to remain hot and sunny over the weekend.

The Met Office's heat-health watch alert remains at level two, meaning social and healthcare services are at the ready to reduce harm from a potential heatwave.

Authorities have also issued warnings to cut shower times down to just four minutes as temperatures continue to sizzle.

With no rain on the horizon, the South East is set for its driest June since records began.

The heat has caused havoc for commuters after rail services imposed speed limits on trains due to overheating tracks caused by the steel on tracks to expand and sometimes buckle.

South Western Railway said temperatures were expected to reach 47C on many parts of its route this week.

The heatwave could even top a blistering 38C in the coming months, raising fears this summer could be even worse than the "Lucifer" heatwave last year.


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