| 18.1°C Dublin

Increase in pollen count brings hay fever misery

Close

This is a tough time of year for hay fever sufferers

This is a tough time of year for hay fever sufferers

Getty Images/Wavebreak Media

This is a tough time of year for hay fever sufferers

Hay fever sufferers have been warned to start taking their medication as the pollen count continues to rise.

The recent spell of good weather lifted hopes that spring had arrived - but it also brought with it an early bout of hay fever symptoms.

Runny noses and watery eyes may have prevented up to 15pc of the Irish population who suffer from the condition from enjoying the sunshine.

The exact timing and severity of the pollen season differs from year to year depending on the weather. However, sunny spells and moderate breezes have brought a spike in pollen counts from low to moderate.

The Asthma Society of Ireland is warning people to plan early this year, as spring continues to warm up.

As many as 80pc of Irish people with asthma also suffer from hay fever and the group's chief executive Sharon Cosgrove has said "preparation is vital" in tackling the allergy.

"Hay fever is a significant trigger for asthma and it is important to have a plan in place to manage both your asthma and allergies," she said.

Experts say pollen from alder and hazel trees brings a moderate risk on mild dry days at this time of year.

"Tree pollens tend to affect people from March to May each year," said allergy specialist Dr Paul Carson. "This primes the nose for a more aggressive pollen attack when grass pollen surges in May."

Advice on how to avoid allergy triggers and cope with hay fever is available on the Asthma Adviceline on 1850 44 54 64.

The pollen forecast, supported by Dyson, will be available from April 1 on www.asthma.ie.

Irish Independent