Asthma sufferers have been warned that high pollen levels this weekend could put their lives at risk.
The Met Office is forecasting high pollen levels across most of England and Wales from Friday, with medium levels in other parts of the UK, except in Orkney and Shetland, where they should remain low.
Asthma and Lung UK has warned that there are more than three million people with conditions such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who are at risk of attacks or flare-ups.
Pollen can trigger symptoms including a tight chest, wheezing and breathlessness in 59 per cent of those living with asthma and more than one in four of those with COPD, according to the charity.
Allergies can cause airways to tighten and a build-up of sticky mucus, making it more difficult to breathe.
Asthma attacks can be fatal, with around four people in the UK dying from one every day.
The charity is telling people to ensure they continue taking their preventer inhalers if they use them and to keep their reliever inhaler with them at all times.
Those potentially at risk are also advised to keep an eye on local pollen forecasts and to stay indoors on high pollen days.
“When pollen levels are at their highest this can be deadly for those with lung conditions like asthma who can suffer severe symptoms and have life-threatening attacks,” said Dr Andy Whittamore, clinical lead for Asthma and Lung UK.
“These attacks can leave people fighting for breath, which can be terrifying, but there are things they can do to look after themselves.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /