Nothing to sneeze at high pollen levels recorded

If you have found yourself sneezing more than usual, the cause of your recent bouts of hayfever may have been identified.

Dr Catherine Pashley from the Department of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation, who heads a research group in conjunction with the Midlands Asthma and Allergy Research Association, has suggested that during the month of April ash pollen levels across the county were at their highest since records began more than 40 years ago, much to the dismay of hayfever sufferers.

In a Leicester Mercury article, Dr Pashley also warns that if the weather we are experiencing at the moment continues – rain combined with some warm sunny days – it will spell a miserable few months for people allergic to grass pollen, particularly as oak pollen levels are also currently high.

Sadly, the effects of hayfever may still be felt for some time to come, as the grass pollen season is scheduled to kick off near the end of May, lasting for about a month and bringing with it high levels of pollen.

Dr Pashley said: "One of the reasons that pollen levels have been high already is that we had a fairly mild and wet start to spring, which is ideal for encouraging the growth of flowers. You then have a warm and slightly windy day and the trees make the most of it."

However, Dr Pashley explained that it is difficult to predict what the hayfever season will be like, as pollen levels are dependent on the weather.