Monday 21 January 2019

Tips for hay fever sufferers as pollen count soars

Hayfever can make summer miserable for some
Hayfever can make summer miserable for some

Rachel Farrell

Hay fever sufferers are being urged to take extra care this week as pollen count continues to rise this month.

While many of us have enjoyed the glorious sunshine and dry weather, Met Eirean has warned that this will cause pollen counts to rise over the coming days.

"The grass pollen risk will rise to high during warm, dry weather in many regions only reducing to low during very humid and cloudy conditions," the national forecaster said.

"Weed pollen (nettle, plantain, dock) will also rise to high. Spores rising to high during humid conditions."

They also advised hay fever sufferers that grass pollen counts are expected to become "very high" as we move further into June.

Pharmacists say that the pollen counts will affect those that suffer with hay fever differently, depending on the allergy.

"Hay fever symptoms are really different for each individual. Generally people have itchy eyes, an itchy nose or throat or all three, and they can present themselves at different times of the year," Niamh Murphy from Lloyd's Pharmacy told

"It depends on the plant. From March to April it's mostly tree pollen that affects people, and this time of year it's the flowers."

Ms Murphy explained that treatment also depends on the symptoms at 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."

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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