Hayfever and asthma sufferers should make sure they have their medication handy this week as the Met Office issues a 'very high' pollen count.

The red warning for very high pollen was issued after a weekend of hot and humid weather.

A Met Office spokesman said: “The grass pollen risk will be increasing to very high levels during the week ahead. Spore and weed levels will be elevated too.”

For most, pollen is harmless, but if you have an allergy then your immune system overreacts and produces histamines.

For many people with asthma, this release of histamines when they have hay fever makes asthma symptoms worse.

What can you do to reduce the symptoms this week?

Take an asthma attack risk checker

Manage your asthma. The more you are on top of it, the less likely you will be to suffer.

Take your hay fever medicine every day, even if you think you will be fine.

Keep doors and windows shut if you are particularly prone to problems.

Have a shower when you come in from outdoors.

Avoid drying clothes outside as pollen will cling to them and not let go.

Pollen count is usually higher in the morning and late in the afternoon, so if you can avoid going out, do.

Don’t drink too much. Alcohol increases your sensitivity to pollen.