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Warning for those with hayfever: high levels of pollen are expected this weekend

Hayfever season usually gets under way in Ireland in mid-June.

WE’LL BE GETTING a lot more hot, dry weather lately, and with that comes a greater risk for hay fever sufferers.

This weekend, Met Éireann and the Asthma Society of Ireland are forecasting high levels of pollen (around 80% of asthmatics are also hayfever sufferers).

“High to very high grass pollen during warm, dry weather but more moderate in sea breezes on the coasts at times,” according to the Asthma Society’s pollen tracker.

Weed pollen (eg, nettle, plantain, dock) will also rise to high levels, it said. Spores will also rise to high levels during humid conditions in the early hours of the day.

Hayfever, also known as seasonal allergic rhinitis, is caused by pollen and spores creating an allergic reaction affecting the nose and sinuses. According to the Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU), one in five people in Ireland suffer from hayfever.

The symptoms include itchy eyes, runny nose, sneezing, coughing and headaches; 87% of hay fever sufferers also report difficulty sleeping.

Here are some tips for those with hayfever to alleviate suffering while pollen levels are high:

  • Keep doors and windows closed at home and when driving
  • Apply a little Vaseline inside the nose to trap pollen and stop it being inhaled
  • Wear sunglasses, preferably wraparound glasses which prevent pollen entering the eyes
  • Don’t mow the grass and avoid working in the garden
  • Don’t dry clothes outside if possible
  • Wash your hair, hands and face when you come back indoors and change your clothes to get rid of any pollen.

Although the advice is to stay indoors when there’s a high pollen count, the Asthma Society has a few tips on how to garden when you suffer from hayfever. You can have a read of them here.

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