Summertime is well and truly upon us. While for some that might mean racing out to the garden to catch some rays with a good book, for others it means a soaring pollen count and subsequent (very) itchy red eyes.
The Asthma Society of Ireland has issued advice In a bid to help ease these and other hay fever symptoms and as a result, to minimise the dangers of asthma escalations.
Sarah O'Connor, CEO of the Asthma Society has said warned that "grass pollen levels generally reach their peak at the end of June and the coming week’s weather is only increasing that level. Already our pollen tracker shows pollen levels are at what we consider to be their highest over the weekend in some areas in Ireland and it is set to continue and to escalate."
Those who are experiencing hay fever can avail of the Pollen Tracker on asthma.ie, which provides an update of pollen levels across the country each day, as well as a predictor of the pollen levels for the following day.
Below are the common symptoms that hay fever sufferers experience:
- A runny nose and nasal congestion
- Watery, itchy, red eyes
- Frequent sneezing
- Itchy nose, roof of mouth or throat
- A headache
- Swollen blue coloured skin under the eyes
- Postnasal drip
If you are experiencing any of these red flags, don't suffer in silence! Follow these essential tips listed below to survive this tricky hay fever season.
- Talk to doctor or pharmacist NOW about taking medication to prevent/reduce symptoms. Don't wait until you feel unwell.
- Keep windows closed in your bedroom at night and when the pollen count is high
- Stay indoors as much as possible on high pollen day and stay away from grassy areas, especially when grass is freshly cut
- Put Vaseline around your nostrils to trap pollen
- Shower, wash your hair and change your clothes if you have been outside for an extended period
- Avoid drying clothes outdoors, or shake them outdoors before bringing them in
- Minimise your contact with pets (sorry, animal lovers!) who have been outdoors and are likely to be carrying pollen
For further information about asthma and the Asthma Society’s services, see www.asthma.ie.