HAYFEVER and asthma sufferers should make sure they have their medication handy this week as the Met Office issues a 'very high' pollen count.

It's not yet known when levels will reduce after the red warning for very high pollen came into force at the start of the week.

A Met Office spokesman said: “The grass pollen risk will be increasing to very high levels during the week ahead. Spore and weed levels will be elevated too.”

For most, pollen is harmless, but if you have an allergy then your immune system overreacts and produces histamines.

For many people with asthma, this release of histamines when they have hay fever makes asthma symptoms worse.

Symptoms of hay fever include:

  • sneezing and coughing
  • a runny or blocked nose
  • itchy, red or watery eyes
  • itchy throat, mouth, nose and ears
  • loss of smell
  • pain around your temples and forehead
  • headache
  • earache
  • feeling tired

If you have asthma, you might also:

  • have a tight feeling in your chest
  • be short of breath
  • wheeze and cough

How to ease your symptoms:

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 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

Take your hay fever medicine every day, even if you think you will be fine.

Pollen count is usually higher in the morning and late in the afternoon, so if you can avoid going out, do.

Don’t drink too much. Alcohol increases your sensitivity to pollen.

Take an asthma attack risk checker

Manage your asthma. The more you are on top of it, the less likely you will be to suffer

Have you got any other tips for hay fever sufferers?