A tracker, which provides an update of pollen levels across the four provinces each day, and a predictor of the pollen levels for the following day, has been launched.
The Asthma Society has teamed up with Dyson Ireland to launch its pollen tracker, which will run from May to August 2020.
More than 300,000 people with both asthma and hayfever are being advised to take pre-cautions during the pollen season to avoid a potentially fatal asthma attack.
The society has provided the following top tips to survive hayfever season:
- Keep an eye daily on the Asthma Society’s pollen tracker on asthma.ie;
- Speak to a nurse on the Asthma Society’s free asthma and COPD advice line (1800 44 54 64) about putting a hayfever management plan in place;
- Use the Asthma Society’s new Beating Breathlessness WhatsApp Patient Support service for any questions on asthma, COPD, coronavirus or hayfever;
- Talk to doctor or pharmacist NOW about taking medication to prevent / reduce symptoms. Don't wait until you feel unwell;
- Keep windows shut in your bedroom at night;
- Keep windows and doors closed when the pollen count is high;
- Stay indoors as much as possible on high pollen days;
- Stay away from grassy areas - especially when grass is freshly cut;
- Put Vaseline around your nostrils to trap pollen;
- Wear wraparound sunglasses to stop pollen getting into your eyes;
- Shower, wash your hair and change your clothes if you have been outside for an extended period of time;
- Avoid drying clothes outdoors, or shake them outdoors before bringing them in;
- Minimise your contact with pets that have been outdoors and are likely to be carrying pollen.
Common hayfever symptoms:
- Runny nose and nasal congestion;
- Watery, itchy, red eyes;
- Frequent sneezing;
- Itchy nose, roof of mouth or throat;
- Swollen blue coloured skin under the eyes;
- Postnasal drip.
‘At risk of a more serious asthma attack’
Dr Marcus Butler, medical director of the Asthma Society, said: “Managing asthma becomes more difficult over the summer months as the nice weather brings a long and sharp increase in the pollen count.”
“Research suggests that up to 80% of people with asthma notice a worsening of asthma symptoms due to allergies such as pollen, as their bodies trigger an allergic reaction.”
“I see a drop in asthma control amongst my allergic asthma patients during hayfever season, which leaves them at risk of a more serious asthma attack.”
“It is vital that all asthma patients with pollen or grass allergy have an asthma action plan and prepare for the hayfever season to limit its effects."
For any questions on managing asthma, hayfever or COPD, people can call the Asthma Society’s free asthma and COPD adviceline on 1800 44 54 64 to speak to a trained respiratory specialist nurse about managing their condition.