Hay fever sufferers in England and Wales are advised to stock up on the tissues today as pollen levels reach peak levels.
Red warnings are in place across both countries, although if you’re in Scotland or Northern Ireland you might get away with just the odd sneeze instead.
People living in urban areas are at risk of even worse symptoms thanks to the combined effect of high air pollution and pollen.
A survey by Boots, which dubs the issue “pollenution”, found 89% of people don’t realise their hay fever symptoms can actually be worse in the city than in the countryside.
It estimates that London, Cardiff, Birmingham, Leeds and Glasgow are the worst affected.
There are some things you can do to limit the effects of pollen:
- take an anti-histamine
- shower in the evening to wash stray pollen from your hair
- smear a small amount of petroleum jelly or a nasal barrier balm under your nose, as it can help to trap some of the pollen
- keep your sunglasses on-hand so you can prevent pollen from getting in your eyes
- keep your windows closed in the morning and evening when pollen counts are highest
- dry washing inside to prevent pollen sticking and infiltrating everything from your towels to your bedding to your smalls
- cut down on alcohol - it can increase symptoms
And here’s a handy little chart from the Met Office which allows you to work out specifically which type of pollen is ruining your summer.