Pollen warning to hay fever sufferers.
Byline: Report by Liza Radley email@example.com
Hay fever sufferers are being warned by an expert to brace themselves for symptoms with drier weather set to trigger a peak in pollen levels.
Forecasters are predicting more settled conditions across our region will bring a high to very high risk of pollen affecting much of the country over the weekend.
Dr Beverley Adams-Groom, from Worcester University, is the UK's chief pollen forecaster who advises the Met Office.
She said recent rainy weather had delayed the impact of the grass pollen season. "We're right in the season now, the grasses have been ready to emit their pollen properly and fully for a week or so now," she said. "We're going to see the full peak coming up over the next week or so now."
She added: "This year we've seen a rather stumbling start to it, the rain has dampened down the grass and prevented it from emitting pollen." Dr Adams-Groom said the main grass pollen season can affect up to 95 per cent of hay fever sufferers, adding that conditions were not out of the ordinary.
"From now on, certainly for the next three days, we've got high to very high risk for quite a lot of the country," she said.
"It's nothing exceptional, forget all this stuff about a pollen bomb, it's what we would normally expect to see."
Grahame Madge, a spokesman for the Met Office, said the pollen risk this weekend was high in the West Midlands. "When you get settled weather and dry conditions, that will allow pollen to become airborne and remain airborne with the obvious impact on sufferers," Mr Madge said. Caroline Fredericks, specialist nurse at research charity Asthma UK, said: "Peaking levels of grass pollen and hot weather next week could cause suffering for about 3.3 million people whose asthma could be affected by hay fever.
"If you have asthma, then an allergy to pollen can inflame your airways and trigger asthma symptoms such as coughing, a tight chest and breathlessness, which could lead to a potentially life-threatening asthma attack.
"Hot weather next week will make the pollen levels spike and cause extra misery for people with asthma."