Got a grass pollen allergy and want to know how the warm weather will affect your hayfever? Click here for the full story from the Age.
Although today feels like winter it's actually spring. And for roughly one in six of us, spring can mark the start of the allergy season and that means plenty of wheezing and sneezing ahead.
For the past week or so, hay fever sufferers have been telling us through the Melbourne pollen app about their symptoms - so what in the air could be triggereing these allergies?
Last Friday (September 18) the count was 0 grass pollen and 244 other pollen types. The grass pollen season won't start for a month or more, but that's a lot of other pollen. What is it and should you be paying attention to it?
Broadly speaking we classify pollen into grass, tree and weed, which means 'other pollen' includes all the tree and weed pollen. Last Friday the main tree pollen was cypress and the main weed pollen was plantain. The pollen of plantain (in no way related to the banana-like fruit of the same name) is allergenic and the levels we saw would certainly cause problems to people allergic to it. Plantain is also very common and most people will have it growing in their garden or near their house. So if you're suffering badly from hay fever at the moment, it's possible you have an allergy to plantain pollen. You can take precautions to avoid exposure to plantain pollen but check with an allergist to find out what you're really allergic to.
The good news is that the bad news is still more than a month away.
Now that winter has passed and spring is upon us, you don't have to worry about hay fever right away.
Melbourne's pollen count doesn't even begin until October, and even then the first high pollen day doesn't usually occur until halfway through the month.
But if past years' pollen counts are anything to go by, grass pollen concentrations will get worse throughout spring before peaking in the last week of November.
Hay fever affects about 1 in 7 people, who endure watery eyes, sneezing and itchiness during the spring months.
From December onwards, the high temperatures burn off the grass and pollen counts trail off.
How do we know how much pollen is in the air?
Read the full article here at The Age