Asthma and hay fever sufferers are being warned of a potentially deadly “pollen bomb” which could cause life-threatening attacks this weekend.
Met Eireann’s pollen count forecast is showing high levels over the coming days as Ireland is set to scorch over the Easter holidays.
The national forecaster warned: “With dry, settled and increasingly warm temperatures over the next few days the tree pollen risk will rise to high across all regions.”
And the weekend will see spells of sunshine which will bring the mercury into the 20s.
Sarah O’Connor, CEO of the Asthma Society of Ireland said: “Project pollen levels are high in coming days and, with pollen levels rising earlier than last year, people with hayfever really need to start managing the condition now, especially those with hayfever and asthma.
“80 per cent of people with asthma also have hayfever. We have lots of information on asthma.ie on minimising hay fever symptoms for asthma patients, which for some people can cause a fatal asthma attack.
“Hayfever is very misunderstood in Ireland and people often dismiss you as a hypochondriac or simply a complainer when you mention it.
“As a hayfever sufferer, I can testify that it is a very debilitating condition that leaves you feeling really miserable and unwell.
“The constant runny nose, itchy eyes and sneezing are extremely distracting, and the accompanying headache and fatigue have always really marked out the summer months for me. For me, it felt like a flu all summer long.”
“Some tips to help prevent and/or reduce symptoms, include: keep windows closed in your bedroom at night, remaining indoors as much as possible, staying away from grassy areas, and putting Vaseline around your nostrils to trap pollen.
“One person dies every five days here as a result of their asthma.”