Over 9,774 people who have both asthma and hayfever in Tipperary advised to take precautions during “Pollen Season” to avoid potentially fatal asthma attack

The Asthma Society of Ireland has officially launched its annual Hayfever Campaign for the 9,774, people who have both asthma and hayfever in Tipperary. The Asthma Society’s Hayfever Campaign includes the Pollen Tracker, kindly supported by Dyson, providing daily updates of pollen levels across the four provinces, and also predictions of pollen levels for the following day. The Asthma Society is encouraging people with hayfever to visit the Pollen Tracker page on asthma.ie often, and to ensure their hayfever is well managed this summer.


Sarah O’Connor, CEO of the Asthma Society of Ireland, said: For the majority of people who have hayfever, they may describe the condition as being annoying but would usually not described it as life-threatening. However, for the 304,000 people who have asthma and hayfever, unmanaged hayfever can be just that. Hayfever symptoms are capable of causing an asthma symptoms to escalate into a serious asthma attack, which in some case can be fatal. One person dies every week in Ireland from asthma.

Over 9,774 people who have both asthma and hayfever in Tipperary advised to take precautions during “Pollen Season” to avoid potentially fatal asthma attack

People with asthma need to ensure their hayfever is well managed throughout “Pollen Season” which runs from now until September. Our Pollen Tracker on asthma.ie will allow people recognise the days that require additional precautions for managing their hayfever. For the 80% of people with asthma who also have hayfever, they should visit our Pollen Tracker daily. This page also has some great top tips for surviving hayfever season.”


During the current coronavirus pandemic, it is extremely important that people with asthma can distinguish between coronavirus and hayfever symptoms. The Asthma Society has been working with its medical advisory group to create a Know Your Symptoms Chart which will allow people with asthma and COPD to recognise if their symptoms point to hayfever or to coronavirus. This resources is available on asthma.ie.


Dr. Dermot Nolan, ICGP Asthma Lead and member of the Asthma Society’s Medical Advisory Group, said: “As we come into hayfever season, it’s important to know the crossovers between hayfever, asthma and coronavirus symptoms, but also to have help differentiating symptoms between the three. The Asthma Society’s graphic, launched today as part of the Hayfever Campaign, clearly outlines what symptoms are strongly or occasionally association with COVID-19, hayfever, asthma and COPD, to help support patients as they seek to learn more.


Common COVID-19 symptoms include feeling unwell, a temperature, a slight shortness of breath, or a persistent cough. The common symptoms of hayfever are: itchy eyes, itchy throat and a running nose. The loss of smell and loss of taste, which are symptoms of the start of the new coronavirus, can also be a symptom of hayfever.


There are also noticeable differences between COVID-19 and hayfever symptoms. For example, the COVID-19 cough is persistent, while a hayfever cough tends to occur at night-time. Hayfever sufferers don’t usually feel unwell or tired, but these are common symptoms of COVID-19. People with hayfever, although they have symptoms, they tend not to feel particularly unwell. When a patient has COVID-19, they usually are unwell and they tend to feel flu-like aches, pains or chills in their body, which is not typical of hayfever. Many people have also identified tiredness as a feature of COVID-19. The tiredness that hayfever sufferers experience is related to patients taking certain antihistamines and not the condition itself.”


The hints and tips around hayfever and asthma management include:

  • Keep an eye daily on the Asthma Society’s pollen tracker on ie
  • Speak to a nurse on the Asthma Society’s free Asthma and COPD Adviceline (1800 44 54 64) about putting a hayfever management plan in place
  • Use the Asthma Society’s new Beating Breathlessness WhatsApp Patient Support service for any questions on asthma, COPD, coronavirus or hayfever
  • Talk to doctor or pharmacist NOW about taking medication to prevent / reduce symptoms. Don’t wait until you feel unwell
  • Keep windows shut in your bedroom at night
  • Keep windows and doors closed when the pollen count is high
  • Stay indoors as much as possible on high pollen days
  • Stay away from grassy areas, especially when grass is freshly cut
  • Put Vaseline around your nostrils to trap pollen
  • Wear wraparound sunglasses to stop pollen getting into your eyes
  • Shower, wash your hair and change your clothes if you have been outside for an extended period of time
  • Avoid drying clothes outdoors, or shake them outdoors before bringing them in
  • Minimise your contact with pets that have been outdoors and are likely to be carrying pollen


If people with asthma or COPD have any questions in relation to symptoms they are experiencing, they can use the Asthma Society’s new Beating Breathlessness WhatsApp patient support service which allows people to message a respiratory specialist nurse to get support, advice and information about asthma, COPD, coronavirus and hayfever. This free WhatsApp service is available on 086 059 0132.


People who would prefer to speak to a nurse can call the Asthma Society’s free Joint Asthma and COPD Adviceline on 1800 44 54 64.


About the Asthma Society of Ireland:

The Asthma Society of Ireland’s mission is to stop asthma deaths in Ireland. We are the voice of the 380,000 people with asthma in Ireland, and our work radically transforms their quality of life. We fight asthma with every breath. Our vision is that everyone with asthma in Ireland lives a full life, symptom-free.

  1. We champion change by advocating to prevent asthma deaths.
  2. We communicate about asthma to ensure it is taken seriously as a health challenge.
  3. We support with services for all people with asthma, empowering them to control the condition and providing health promotion programmes which deliver impactful asthma interventions.
  4. We learn together and collaborate with healthcare, research and education professionals (and always with patients) to improve our understanding of how asthma works and how to combat it.
  5. We build our capacity to deliver for patients by growing and diversifying our funding streams, by innovating and by being best-in-class as a charity.


In 2019, the Asthma Society won four Irish Healthcare Awards, including best Overall Patient Organisation Project.


About the Asthma/COPD Adviceline


The Asthma and COPD Adviceline is available on 1800 44 54 64.


The Adviceline is proven to have a truly positive impact on people with asthma, with appointments tailored to the needs of each caller. The Adviceline respiratory specialist nurses work through every aspect of life with asthma: what to do in the event of an asthma attack, answering questions after a GP or consultant appointment, dealing with triggers that may be bringing on asthma symptoms, and helping users put together an Asthma Action Plan to self-manage their condition. After speaking to one of the adviceline nurses, users will be fully equipped with the information and skills they need to improve their health and stay as well as possible


Callers can book a free call back appointment by calling the free phone number between 09:00 and 17:00 Monday to Friday. The Asthma Society facilitates a call back from the nurse at a time that suits the patient.


In 2019, the Asthma/COPD Adviceline was awarded an independent quality mark by the Helplines Partnership, one of only three helplines in Ireland to have achieved this standard.

About Asthma

Asthma is an inflammatory disease of varying severity that affects the airways – the small tubes that carry the air in and out of the lungs. People with asthma have airways that are extra sensitive to substances (or triggers), which irritate them. Common triggers include cold and flu, cigarette smoke, exercise and allergic responses to pollen, furry or feathery animals or house-dust mites.

When the airways come into contact with an asthma trigger, the muscles around the walls of the airways tighten so that the airways become narrower. The lining of the airways swell and produce sticky mucus. As the airways narrow, it becomes difficult for the air to move in and out. That is why people with asthma wheeze and find breathing difficult.

Whilst there is no cure, asthma can be controlled by avoiding triggers and by the use of ‘reliever’ and ‘controller’ medication. Relievers are medicines that people with asthma take immediately when asthma symptoms appear. Controllers help calm the airways and stop them from being so sensitive. Talk to your GP or asthma nurse about which treatment is most suitable for you. All patients with asthma are also advised to have a tailored asthma action plan, a crucial part of patient self-management, which helps patients control their asthma.

For more information please visit www.asthma.ie

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