It is a source of misery for many over the summer months, but new research suggests hay fever may leave sufferers at risk of depression, too.
Scientists have found that hay fever could expose as many as a fifth of its victims to clinical depression, with others experiencing less severe depressive symptoms.
Those who developed the allergy at an early age were found to be particularly prone.
The findings suggest hay fever has a far greater impact on people's lives than usually thought, say researchers.
Professor Angelika Buske-Kirschbaum, a psychologist at TU Dresden, one of the researchers behind the study, said: We found depressive tendencies associated with pollen season in most of the patients and some showed clinically relevant depression.
The best thing if feeling depressed is being physically active; go out, do some sports.' But she also added that there was a case to move exams to non-pollen times of the year.
© Mail On Sunday