Hay fever sufferers on high alert

Allergy sufferers are being warned to prepare early for what is expected to be one of the worst hay fever seasons on record, Karen O'Sullivan reports.

Melbourne pollen count up and running for 2013

 

Melbourne Pollen Sept 29 2013

Welcome back to the Melbourne pollen count.  Been a wet winter and the spring's has so far been wet and warm as well, all good signs for grass growth.  But maybe not so good if you're allergic to grass pollen.  Here's a shot from today's slide.  We're still in the tree pollen season and expecting tomorrow will be a low pollen day.

No grass pollen today

Melbourne Pollen Sept 4 2013d

There's a prediction doing the rounds, not one of ours, that today is a high/extreme pollen day in Melbourne. So we thought we'd have a look to see what's about at the moment.  We expected to see tree pollen and that's what we found.  Europeans like elm and birch, some wattle (last Sunday was Wattle Day after all), pine and our old friend cypress.  Plenty of it (counts in the hundreds) but that's not unusual for this time of year.  The Melbourne pollen calendar published by Ong et al (1995) also shows tree pollen counts in the hundreds for September.  Our forecasts are for grass pollen, Melbourne's major source of outdoor allergies, and there was no grass pollen on the slide so today is a low grass pollen day.  We're not expecting to see much grass pollen until sometime in October but we'll keep a watch out for it.  If you're sneezing today it may be because you have an allergy to tree pollen.

 

 

 

Warm day in store for Victoria as pollen hits hay fever sufferers

Melbourne pollenWith parts of the state heading for tops in the 30s today, Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Dean Stewart said while it was quite unusual to have such warm temperatures so early in spring, there was a 70 per cent chance of above-average rainfall in central Victoria during spring.

A flowering-plant expert at Melbourne University, Associate Professor Ed Newbigin, said the severity of this year's hay fever season would increase with spring rain.

Read more: The Age

Warm start to spring triggers hay fever cases

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Hay fever affects about 15 per cent of the population but experts say most sufferers remain undiagnosed.

Typical symptoms include a blocked or runny nose, sneezing and watery eyes but the condition can also cause sleep disturbances and headaches.

A flowering plant expert at Melbourne University, Associate Professor Ed Newbigin, said the severity of this year's hay fever season would increase with spring rain.

While grasses are not yet flowering, European trees such as elms, birches and alders had already begun, Dr Newbigin said.

Read more: The Age Newspaper

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Apart from any use as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part maybe reproduced by any process without prior written permission from
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School of BioSciences, University of Melbourne. Phone: +61 3 8344 4871.