Weather experts have issued a "very high" pollen forecast for the East of England which could give hay fever sufferers more than watery eyes from today.

The Met Office's pollen predictions into the weekend show things will be uncomfortable for sufferers as a perfect storm of heavy downpours and thunder will bring a weather phenomenon called "thunder fever".

Hay fever sufferers in the region who are vulnerable to grass and nettle pollen, and Cladosporium spores in warm, dry weather and Leptosphaeria after rainfall, are likely to suffer the effects most.

This forecast has led to a warning from one of the country’s leading car insurance comparison websites.

The experts are concerned most motorists are unaware of the fact "driving under the influence" could result in hefty fines and points on their licence.

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Some hay fever medications could see drivers committing this type of motoring offence without even realising it.

Insurance comparison website says the government legislation that bans driving while under the influence, does not distinguish between illicit drugs, prescription medication and over-the-counter medications.

This means any type of drug which affects a motorist’s driving abilities could potentially result in a drug-driving conviction, even if it’s something as simple as hay fever medication which causes drowsiness.

They say East of England's hay fever sufferers should consider the following advice before getting behind the wheel:

Check medication - antihistamines and hay fever medications can differ in strength, check with the doctor if in any doubt about possible side effects and always read the label.

Plan journeys – check the Met Office Pollen warnings or download the weather app, which gives a five-day forecast for high pollen counts.

Keep the car as pollen-free as possible - clean the car regularly to get rid of dust which could trigger symptoms before setting out, regularly change pollen filters in the car’s ventilation system and keep car windows closed during journeys.

Get stocked up – keep the car stocked with fresh tissues, hay fever medicine, a bottle of water, eye drops, anything used to ease the symptoms, should they strike unexpectedly.

Drive safely – give lots of space to fellow road users and take breaks if hay fever symptoms start. If drivers don’t feel well or the pollen count is high, play it safe and don’t make non-urgent journeys.

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Greg Wilson, founder of, comments: “A lot of people aren’t sure exactly when the hay fever season starts, it actually runs for seven months of the year - March to September - depending on the type of pollen people are allergic to, so it can catch drivers off guard.

“Most people assume that the term ‘drug-driving’ refers to driving while under the influence of illicit narcotics, but the truth is that driving after taking any type of drug, could result in a motoring conviction if the motorist’s driving abilities are impaired.

“While some hay fever medications are non-drowsy, some types do cause drowsiness, and some prescription hay fever tablets in particular carry a ‘do not operate heavy machinery’ warning.

"If a driver fails to obey this warning and gets behind the wheel, they could risk a hefty fine of up to £5,000, points on their licence and endanger themselves and other road users.”