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Tuesday 11 December 2018

Hay fever sufferers set to be even worse off as hot and humid temperatures roll in nationwide

Hayfever can make summer miserable for some
Hayfever can make summer miserable for some
Conor McCrave

Conor McCrave

Hay fever sufferers are set to be even worse off as hot and humid temperatures roll in across the country, according to allergy experts.

Temperatures are expected to hit up to 30 degrees Celsius in some parts of the country this week, with forecasts predicting favourable weather conditions to continue throughout the week.

However, with little rain to keep the pollen count low, those who suffer with hay fever could see "miserable" conditions, according to allergist Dr Paul Carson.

"It will only get worse for those who suffer from hay fever because these climatic conditions lead to high pollen counts," he said.

He said the recent period of warm weather throughout May and June has caused the pollen count to rise very early in the morning and fall late in the evening.

"In Ireland we don’t get prolonged periods of warm weather without any rain. Usually we get a burst of sunshine and wet days follow which wash the pollen out of the air," he said.

He added; "Because of these air currents, the pollen is constantly produced and rises early in the morning and comes down late in the evening."

Dr Carson, who is an allergist with Allergy Ireland, said his clinic has received higher call volumes this year from patients seeking treatment for the symptoms caused by the irritating condition. 

He also said there has been an increase in patients seeking treatments who have never previously suffered from these symptoms, which include itchy eyes and sneezing.

A forecaster for Met Eireann said the pollen count would be classed as "very high" for Leinster and Munster today and "high" in the rest of the country.

The pollen count for the entire country will be classed as "very high" from Sunday as the temperatures climb to the mid-twenties.

He said as the hot temperatures climb, the pollen count is likely to remain high.

Pharmacist Niamh Murphy from Lloyd's Pharmacy told that treatment also depends on the symptoms at the time of year, with the worst of the season clearing up towards August.

"If somebody is affected badly we would recommend an antihistamine eye drop on top of a non-drowsy tablet, or even a steroid nasal spray if that's the area affected the worst," she said.

The Asthma Society of Ireland recommend the following precautions for those that suffer with hay fever during the summer:

  • Stay indoors as much as possible on high pollen days
  • Put Vaseline around your nostrils to trap pollen
  • Keep windows and doors closed when the pollen count is high
  • Avoid drying clothes outside
  • Shower, wash your hair and change your clothes if you have been outside for an extended period

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