Hay fever warning as high pollen counts expected

With warm temperatures and continued good weather expected, the Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) has warned that it will also bring very high levels of pollen across the country.

The IPU has urged adults who suffer from hay fever to be cautious as “we are now in peak hay fever season” and to take preventative action to minimise the effects.

It’s estimated that one in five adults suffer from hay fever in Ireland – people who are affected have been advised to consult with their local pharmacists about the best treatment methods.

Hay fever, also known as seasonal allergic rhinitis, is caused by pollen and spores creating an allergic reaction affecting the nose and sinuses. Although it can occur at any time of year, sufferers are particularly impacted from the spring until autumn.

While hay fever is a common condition, the symptoms can be extremely unpleasant and include itchy eyes, runny nose, sneezing, coughing and headaches.

Community pharmacist and IPU Vice President, Ann Marie Horan issued the following advice to hay fever sufferers:

  • 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 cut your 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.

Pharmacists have a wide range of non-prescription allergy remedies and they can also provide valuable advice to hay fever sufferers.

Pharmacists also warn that hay fever can be a significant trigger for asthma. Asthma patients should ensure they have an up to date prescription for their inhaler and should carry their inhaler at all times and use it as prescribed.

Up to date information on pollen forecasts in Wicklow can be found on the Met Éireann website.

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