18/03/2011 08:02 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Bless You: Why Hayfever Sufferers Are In For A Sneezy Time

If you suffer from hayfever, you may be thinking your symptoms don't seem that bad this year, considering the pollen season starts in March. But don't be fooled, say allergy experts. Thanks to the harsh winter, the pollen season has been delayed. And that means next month there could be a sudden surge of birch pollen when the April showers give way to warmer, dryer weather.

sunflower-bee-pollen-hayfever Hayfever sufferers are in for a tough summer, say experts. Photo: AFP/Getty Images, Michael Urban

The freezing temperatures of winter are thought to have affected plant life, say experts, which means the pollen season this year is starting later than it has for ten years.

And while you may think that's helpful now, it's probably going to make the rest of the summer a hayfever sufferer's nightmare, as three types of pollen are all released at the same time rather than spread out over a longer period.

Talking in the Daily Express, Professor Jean Emberlin, director of PollenUK Information, warns that hayfever sufferers may have sudden attacks with little or no warning this year. The weather forecast for next month doesn't help either, with experts expecting drier and warmer than average conditions - which are perfect for pollen.

Worst hit will be allergy sufferers living in the southern and central Midlands, experts predict.

There are up to 16 million hayfever sufferers in the UK, with some experts suggesting that figure will rise to 32 million by 2030. If you're one of them, keep your eyes on the pollen count forecast, and start stocking up on hayfever remedies.

Are you a hayfever sufferer? How does it affect your summers?