DORSET residents are being told to be prepared after reports of high pollution smog hitting the UK.

DEFRA has warned people across England and Wales to be braced for high levels of air pollution today and for the next few days.

A spokesman said: “This is due to light easterly winds continuing to bring in pollutants and allow local pollutants to remain close to source.

''There may also be some component due to Saharan dust.''

Dorset is currently on the cusp of the high to moderate pollution warning.

People suffering the effects of high levels of pollution - including sore eyes, coughs and sore throats - should cut down the amount of activity they take outside, experts have warned.

The Public Health England, Asthma UK and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs have advised that asthmatics might need to use their blue reliever inhalers more often as they could be prone to attacks today and over the next few days. Other people with lung and heart problems, and those who are older, should also avoid strenuous exercise or activity.

Sotiris Vardoulakis, head of air pollution at PHE's centre for radiation, chemical and environmental hazards, said: ''Whilst most people will not be affected by short-term peaks in air pollution, some individuals, particularly vulnerable groups such as those with existing heart or lung conditions, may experience increased symptoms.

''On occasions where levels are high, adults and children with lung problems, and adults with heart problems, should reduce strenuous physical exertion, particularly outdoors, and particularly if they experience symptoms.

''People with asthma may find they need to use their reliever inhaler more often. Older people should also reduce physical exertion.

''Anyone experiencing discomfort such as sore eyes, cough or sore throat should consider reducing activity, particularly outdoors.''

Kay Boycott, chief executive of Asthma UK, said: ''The two-thirds of people with asthma who find that air pollution makes their asthma worse will be at an increased risk of an attack following the alarming Defra warning of high pollution levels around the country.