While the arrival of sunshine and warm weather is a welcome change for most, hay fever season causes painful symptoms to over 950,000 people in Ireland each year.
Warmer weather can lead to higher pollen levels, which can trigger a range of symptoms, including watery eyes, sneezing, itching in the throat, eyes and ears; headaches, etc.
According to the experts in Met Éireann pollen season is expected to kick off in Ireland in the first weeks of June, particularly in the south-east.
Keeping an eye on the weather forecast can help sufferers prepare, as the amount of sunshine, rain or wind also affects how much pollen gets released in plants, and on humid and windy days pollen spreads easily.
10 ways for hay fever sufferers to get through the upcoming pollen season, from Susan O’Dwyer, Boots, include:
- Stay on top of pollen by vacuuming and damp dusting to stop pollen settling and spreading
- Use an allergy barrier to get on top of hayfever before it begins;
- Try rubbing a small amount of petroleum jelly inside your lower nostril to stop pollen entering the nasal passage;
- Reduce airborne allergens at home and use a humidifier, as moist air will catch particles;
- If you’ve been out and about, change your clothes and even shower to remove pollen and avoid spreading it;
- A pair of wraparound sunglasses is great way to keep pollen out of your eyes;
- If you’re driving keep your windows up and switch your air to circulate;
- Consider using an anti-inflammatory nasal spray;
- If your eyes are affected by hayfever, eye drops can help soothe them;
- Antihistamines have different ingredients, if one tablet isn't working for you, consider swapping to another type.