Danger to Health: Met Office issues highest level warning for hay fever sufferers in Northern Ireland - Here's what we know about pollen
For the second consecutive day people with a pollen intolerance have been urged to take action to reduce symptoms of hay fever
The pollen count monitoring network combines Met Office weather data with expertise from organisations such as the National Pollen and Aerobiological Unit and PollenUK to produce pollen forecasts for 5 days ahead across the whole of the UK.10 things you should know about pollen
Pollen facts and forecast from the Met Office
1. In some people there is a correlation between pollen levels and anxiety.
According to the International Journal of Child Health and Human Development, high pollen levels can affect anxiety levels in people with recurrent mood disorders, such as bipolar.
2. Your pets can get hay fever.
Yes, like us cats and dogs can get hay fever. If you think your pet might have hay fever or would like help identifying it, take a look at our how pollen allergies affect you and your pets page to see what you can do to help.
3. The pollen season lasts longer than you may think.
The pollen season can start as early as January and end as late as November. Our pollen forecast is now live, click to find the latest Pollen forecast.
4. Hay fever affects 1 in 5 people
5. Spiderlings eat pollen.
Although usually carnivorous, spiders feed pollen to their young. It's not known how they manage to eat it though, since their mouths are not large enough.
6. It can fight crime.
Well not quite; pollen is used in forensics to determine where a person or object has been. It has even been proposed that pollen is added to bullets to enable them to be tracked.
7. Alcohol worsens the effects of pollen.
Beer, wine and other spirits contain histamine - the chemical that sets off allergy symptoms in the body.
8. Pollen is first observed in rocks over 120 million years old.
It's a critical component of natural selection in plants.
9. Rain can be bad news for hay fever sufferers.
It helps the grass grow well and if it's followed by dry weather there will be higher levels of pollen.
10. Air quality and pollen.
Urban areas tend to have lower pollen counts than the countryside, but pollen can combine with air pollution in the city centre and bring on hay fever symptoms. It’s not just in the summer months either; it can peak as early as April and May.