In Britain, hay fever is mainly caued by grass pollen. Around 95% of hay fever sufferers are allergic to grass pollen.
Tree pollen can cause hay fever too. Around a quarter of hay fever sufferers are allergic to tree pollen. Mould spores and weed pollen can also trigger symptoms.
This is because your body sees these pollens as a threat, so your hay fever symptoms are caused by your immune system attempting to prevent the spread of what it mistakenly thinks is a harmful organism.
Check this Met Office pollen calendar to see if you're allergic to tree, grass or weed pollen.
The pollens that cause hay fever vary from person to person and from region to region. The amount of pollen in the air will affect how bad your hay fever is.
It's more likely that there will be more pollen in the air on hot, dry, windy days than on cool, damp, rainy days. Research shows that pollution, such as cigarette smoke or car exhaust fumes, also makes some allergies worse. Pollen can also attach to clothing, hair and pets' fur, which means it can be hard to avoid even indoors.
Hay fever is a type of allergy. It happens when your body makes antibodies in response to certain triggers, such as pollen.
The charity Allergy UK estimates that nearly 18 million people have hay fever in the UK. It's most common in children, particularly teenagers, but you can develop hay fever at any age.
The symptoms usually include sneezing, itchy and watery eyes, and a stuffy nose.
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