Hay fever sufferers should get their tissues, tablets and nasal sprays at the ready as we are set for a week with high pollen count. 

The Met Office says grass pollen is in peak season while fungal spores are now listed as a being in season.

Th national meteorological service said weed pollen, mainly from nettles, is now 'medium risk'.

Hay fever - or pollen allergies - is most commonly caused by grass pollens, although other pollens can also trigger the symptoms.

The symptoms are caused when immune system reacts to pollen in the body to produce histamine and other chemicals.

The “pollen count” is the amount of pollen per cubic metre observed over 24 hours - data which is used alongside weather predictions to create a forecast. 

"The 'forecast' is actually a forecast of the risk of the level of pollen over the coming days," the MetOffice says.

The East of England forecast is below:

  • Monday (today) -  High
  • Tuesday -  High
  • Wednesday - Very High
  • Thursday - Very High

What are pollen allergies?

Pollen is made up of tiny particles which are released by plants and trees as part of their reproductive cycle. It is an extremely fine powder and is spread by insects and the wind.

Pollen can cause significant irritation and inflammation in people who are allergic to it. Pollen can be inhaled by humans and animals.

For those with an allergy, pollen triggers the antibody immunoglobulin E, which creates mucus and leads to symptoms such as congestion and sneezing.