If you are one of those who can comfortably walk past rows of flowers and green meadows, then summer is the best time to be in. For the unlucky souls who cannot stand pollen, it can be the worst possible season in Ireland.
With spring and summer comes hay fever (or rhinitis). Hay fever comes with the following symptoms:
- Runny nose and sneezing
- Itchy eyes
No wonder that the summer is popularly called the sneezing season in Ireland. With all the pollen being released by the flowers, trees and grasses, hay fever can cause serious discomfort. One of the best ways to deal with this is by visiting the doctor well ahead of hay fever season and taking some pre-emptive steps to deal with the nuisance.
Doctors have clarified that the most common hay fever allergen in Ireland is grass pollen. Since Ireland is not that thickly forested, tree pollen is not commonly found here. The highest amount of pollen in Ireland is in the lowlands. These are the sites of agriculture. In the cities and the coast, the count is obviously lesser. Galway, for instance, is on the west coast and hence has it better during hay fever time. Even Waterford is spared. If you suffer from hay fever, you would do well to avoid the countryside in summer.
While the peak of the pollen time starts in June, the season is ushered in by as early as March, depending on the different regions of Ireland. For Dublin, the peak season starts at the beginning of June. For places with warmer weather, like the South West of Cork, it starts mid May, as the grass starts flowering faster. Dublin has a low pollen count as compared to the rest of the country where it can be over five times higher.
There is also a difference in the pollen time, depending on whether one is in the country or city. In the city pollen is released mostly in the evening, while in the country it is in the daytime that pollens are most free. In places like Belfast, which have been urbanised extensively, the hay fever effect has diminished with the vanishing greenery. Over 15% of the population is affected by hay fever at some time or the other in the season. This statistic has been recorded in Limerick as well.
In Northern Ireland, with counties like Armagh, the hay fever season strikes hard and reaches its peak by the mid of June.
To cure hay fever allergies, there are antihistamines and steroids. You could have your choice of nose sprays, tablets or even liquid medicine. For severe allergy, go for steroids. The best way to avoid all the suffering is by avoiding pollen heavy areas like gardens and meadows. Use Vaseline to coat your nostrils as it traps the pollen. With various ingenious ways available, it is easy to make summer a season of less suffering than usual. See Hay Fever Tips
Other Countries and Hay Fever