Birch pollen season starting in earnest in Denmark

Ben Hamilton
April 18th, 2023

Counts expected to soar on Friday so get your prescription today!

For something reasonably harmless looking, it can do an awful lot of damage (photo: Per Harald Olsen/NTNU, Flickr)

Every year it’s no exaggeration to say thousands of new arrivals are caught out by the arrival of the dreaded birch pollen season in Denmark. 

Many will have never suffered from hay fever or other allergies in their home countries, and they might presume they have a heavy cold or even flu.

But the truth is that the birch pollen season is capable of bringing extremely high pollen counts to Copenhagen – and that around a fifth of the population tends to be allergic.

On occasion they can reach as high as 1,000 particles per cubic metre, or even 4,000 as was the case just over a decade ago – which is extremely high when you consider 50 is considered a bad day for most hay fevers.

Starts for real on Friday
The birch pollen count in Copenhagen today is 20, but by Friday April 20, high numbers are forecast – triple figures at least, according to Asthma-Allergy Danmark.

So far this year, the indications suggest this should be a relatively normal year, with no quadruple figures likely. But should it turn chilly again, the season can be prolonged and end up lasting until the end of May.

Anyone suffering today – itchy eyes, dry throat and general flu-like symptoms are the norm – is advised to head to their nearest pharmacy and pick up a remedy. 

In the past, prescriptions were generally required via a call to your GP, but these days most of the treatments, such as the previously-prescribed Flixonase, don’t need one.


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