Thursday 14 December 2017

Worst yet to come for hay fever sufferers

Pollen is a torment to hay fever sufferers
Pollen is a torment to hay fever sufferers

Michael Staines

HAY fever sufferers may have expected some respite now that the weather has broken – but the worst is yet to come.

Experts say that the combination of heavy showers followed by dry spells is likely to cause further upset for sufferers.

Recent weeks have been some of the worst ever for hay fever and there is little hope of relief anytime soon.

Met Eireann is predicting damp weekend weather followed by a dry spell early next week and for the grassland grinches amongst us, that means things are likely to get worse before they get any better.

"These sorts of weather conditions will affect grass growth," said meteorologist Joanna Donnelly.

"When we get great growing conditions like this – sunshine, shower, sunshine, shower – grass will be spewing the pollen out all over the place."

Allergy expert Jean Emberlin told the Irish Independent that the high pollen counts could even see people who don't normally suffer symptoms becoming affected.

"If we have one or two days of wet rainy or showery weather, most of the pollen is not going to be released from the grass and it's going to accumulate there.

"So the next day, when we have nice weather where it's warm, breezy and dry all day, that pollen is going to be released in one hit and the pollen count is going to be very high," said Ms Emberlin, who is scientific director of Allergy UK.

Recent years have seen particularly high pollen counts according to Beverley Adams-Groom, chief palynologist at the University of Worcester.

Irish Independent

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