Birch pollen season to strike again – The Post

Birch pollen season to strike again

Experts predict the season will start at the end of the month

The dreaded birch pollen season is getting closer (photo: Per Harald Olsen/NTNU)
April 7th, 2015 2:20 pm| by Pia Marsh

Allergy sufferers beware – that time of year is approaching again. The dreaded birch pollen season is looming on our doorsteps, threatening to spoil our precious springtime joy.

According to Natalia Andersen from Danmarks Meteorologiske Institut, extremely high pollen counts are forecast from April 29 to May 2, with figures reaching a peak around May 1.

This year, pollen counts are predicted to reach an average of 600 particles per cubic metre – an extremely high number considering 50 particles per cubic metre is a bad day for grass allergy sufferers.

Bad news for allergy sufferers
Karen Rasmussen from Astma-Allergi Danmark says that approximately one million people in Denmark will suffer from a birch pollen allergy over the coming three to four weeks – just under 20 percent of the population – and many of them will be new arrivals to the country with no prior history of an allergy.

Symptoms include a runny nose, coughing, puffy eyes and itchiness of the mouth, throat and ears. Asthma-sufferers are the worst hit, often experiencing increased breathing problems, wheezing and a shortness of breath.

“It’s extremely difficult to predict the severity of the birch pollen season. It varies from year to year and is influenced by a number of factors: from the season’s weather to the previous year’s pollen count,” said Rasmussen.

Expert advice
According to Rasmussen, there are a few things you can do to prevent severe allergic reactions.

“If you’re prone to allergies, I strongly suggest staying indoors during the pollen’s peak and speaking to your doctor about taking the right medication. Little things like wearing sunglasses and keeping your distance from pets can also help.”

You can also download a mobile phone app to keep up-to-date with the daily pollen counts at astma-allergi.dk, or simply check the data on dmi.dk.