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Our guide to pollen & hay fever

Tips, advice and links to our pollen forecast, features and other useful websites.

Hay fever (seasonal allergic rhinitis)  is an allergy caused by pollen grains affecting around 20% of people in the UK.  Common symptoms include sneezing, runny or blocked nose, itchy eyes, mouth and throat whilst less common hay fever symptoms can include headaches and hives. There are lots of things you should probably know about pollen, to help you manage your symptoms.

Hay fever relief

There are lots of simple ways to minimise exposure and ease your hay fever symptoms, from drying your clothes indoors to regular vacuuming your floors.

A family walking through a meadowduring hay fever season.

Pollen forecast

The best way to manage hay fever is to check the pollen forecast and try to avoid exposure to pollen during the pollen season, which normally runs from March to November. 

Use our Pollen forecast for the latest information on pollen levels, either online or by downloading the Met Office weather app.  Hay fever sufferers can sign up for our push notification to receive an early morning warning of pollen levels that day.

We manage the only pollen count monitoring network in the UK using information from our network, our weather data and expertise from other organisations to produce forecasts that help support allergy and hay fever sufferers through their most difficult time of the year.

Pollen season

The pollen season can vary according to how wet, dry or cold the winter and early spring has been.  It roughly separates into three main periods:

  • Tree pollen - late March to mid-May.
  • Grass pollen - mid-May to July
  • Weed pollen - end of June to September

Nutrition and the effects of hay fever