This spring and summer could be the worst in decades for hay fever sufferers as scientists have predicted rising pollen levels in the coming months that will affect one in five Britons.
After the long and cold winter delayed growing season, trees and grass could now release pollen simultaneously, making hay fever worse than usual.
Pollen forecaster at the University of Worcester's National Pollen and Aerobiology Research Unit, Beverley Adams-Groom, told Sky News: "We've got a late start to the birch pollen season which means people have had a little bit of relief initially.
"But what that means is the birch pollen season is going to run into the beginning of the grass pollen season. People who are allergic to both those types won't get any relief - they won't have a gap.
"And then if we get good weather in June we'll get some very high grass pollen levels - so it could be a long period of time for people to suffer."
Meanwhile, director of PollenUK Dr Jean Emberlin told Gazette Series: "I think this year the season will be moderate to severe in terms of pollen intensity.
"There'll be bad days when people will suffer from our two main allergenic trees, birch and oak, particularly from birch which affects a quarter of sufferers, but I think it's unlikely to be a catastrophically bad year."
The Met Office says the pollen count season is normally March to August, but can start as early as January and end as late as November.
Bank Holiday weekend is expected to be wet and cool, which will be welcomed by Britain's hay fever sufferers.
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