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France on red hayfever alert

Grass and cereal pollens set to reach a massive peak – causing misery for allergy sufferers

HAYFEVER sufferers across France have been warned of a massive peak in the amount of grass and cereal pollen in the air – with virtually the whole country put on red alert.

This spring’s combination of rainy and sunny periods has delayed the pollen season by two weeks and the first two weeks of July are set to be misery for hayfever victims – and many more.

Rhume des foins" or hayfever affects up to 20% of the population but this massive rise in pollen could affect other people who normally escape the blocked noses and itchy eyes that hit sufferers.

So-called “ graminées or grass and cereal pollen are responsible for 95% of allergies and are at much higher than normal intensities.

The Réseau National de Surveillance Aérobiologique (RNSA) said that the only solution was more rain – which would only calm things until the next sunny spell – or the lawnmower: which is misery for hayfever sufferers at the best of times.

Hayfever sufferers have medication they can take, such as prescribed anti-histamines like Loratadine or Claritin, but they must be taken each day.

Simple measures can also help: such as changing your clothes, showering and washing your hair, smearing some petroleum jelly on your nostrils, wearing wraparound sunglasses, and staying indoors both early and late in the day. If driving, keep the windows closed and use the pollen filter if one is fitted.

The clickable pollen alert map on the RNSA website lists the different pollens that are likely to be affecting your area. Check the map here RNSA pollen alert map.

The RNSA also offers both iPhone and Google Android versions of its smartphone pollen alert.

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